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Albany set to host public hearing for redevelopment plan

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 7:40 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The City of Albany is looking to build on the economic development in downtown.

The city has introduced the urban redevelopment plan, and partnered with the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission to create this plan.

Nasheka Culbreth is the owner of Cool Scoops. She said after being downtown for almost 10...
Nasheka Culbreth is the owner of Cool Scoops. She said after being downtown for almost 10 years, seeing more development would be a good change of pace for downtown.(WALB)

Nasheka Culbreth is the owner of Cool Scoops. She said after being downtown for almost 10 years, seeing more development would be a good change of pace for downtown.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen a substantial amount of growth in downtown Albany. For a while, we were the only business that was open after several businesses left,” said Culbreth.

The city is planning to fulfill that need with its urban redevelopment plan. This plan focuses on the city’s economic development.

“It provides many benefits for developers who are looking at doing development, but it also becomes an incentive or a motivator for those who are really trying to remove slum and blight because it also addresses things as it relates to that,” said Lequrica Gaskins, Albany downtown manager.

Lequrica Gaskins is the downtown manager for the City of Albany.
Lequrica Gaskins is the downtown manager for the City of Albany. (WALB)

One of the benefits is called an opportunity zone. Which will provide a $3,500 dollar tax credit for new businesses that can be claimed for up to five years.

“One of the prerequisites for applying for the opportunity zone with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs is that the municipality must have a current urban redevelopment plan in place,” said Gaskins.

Culbreth said she thinks the plan is great for Albany.

“It would give us an opportunity to grow, as some of the other even smaller towns have more thriving downtowns than we do. And so it would kind of give us the opportunity to grow and showcase some of the great business that we have down here. and the plan hasn’t been put into motion yet. The city wants to get the community’s input before the plan goes into motion.”

Said Gaskins: “Again, we want to always be certain that the community knows what we are doing. We understand that if the community is involved, we are more likely to be able to execute what recommendations are offered within the plan.”

A meeting is scheduled for next week and is open to the public.

“It’ll take place on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 6 pm. And we are going to have that public hearing at the Government Center, which is located in downtown Albany at 222 Pine Avenue,” said Gaskins.

The urban redevelopment plan can be viewed here. And if you have any questions for downtown Albany, they can be reached at (229) 483-7665.

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