Downtown Albany to fill vacant spaces on Front Street Market

Downtown Albany to fill vacant spaces on Front Street Market
Alexander Rolfe, ADICA Vice Chair (Source: WALB)
Alexander Rolfe, ADICA Vice Chair (Source: WALB)
Johnny Williams, Rabbitman's co-owner (Source: WALB)
Johnny Williams, Rabbitman's co-owner (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One restaurant, described as 'well known' in Albany, is one step closer to moving in downtown.

Officials said that by early 2018  the new micro brewery and possibly a couple of restaurants will be open in downtown Albany.

On Wednesday, the Albany-Dougherty County Inner City Authority (ADICA) Board of Directors approved making two of the 10 Front Street locations ready for business, installing utilities and other necessities. One of those will likely be for that 'well known Albany restaurant'.

The chair of ADICA, Jimmy Lindsey, said life could soon be seen again downtown.

ADICA board members are looking to fill 10 vacant spaces on the Front Street Market with restaurants and boutiques.

Alexander Rolfe is the Vice Chair for ADICA and said he wants to see a younger population drawn to downtown.

"So most younger people I know in this area are very very excited to have a real downtown, the types of downtowns they visit on weekends," Rolfe explained.

But the economic growth extends beyond millennials.

"This will have a positive benefit for everyone in this community, but right now I think there are certain people very excited about it," said Rolfe.

Wednesday evening ADICA approved turning on two of the 10 store fronts on Front Street and Pine Avenue, but they will need the Downtown Development Association to approve and pay for it.

Johnny Williams is not a millennial, but the Albany native has lived in the city for 61 years.

He's the co-owner of Rabbitman's, a downtown shoe shine shop.

"I'm glad they have done some true development and businesses have chosen to come downtown," Williams said.

ADICA board members wouldn't reveal which two restaurants will be moving into separate spaces, but they did say one of the restaurants is already established in Albany.

"And I'm hoping that these businesses here will be stabilized and won't go through the up and down time when they have hard times," explained Williams.

The ADICA Board said the restaurant's approval to move to the Front Street Market won't become official until the Downtown Development Association approves funding for the project.

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