Downtown Albany development: What’s next?
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The future of downtown Albany has been an ongoing discussion for decades. WALB spoke to a few people who talked about their experiences and what they would want down in the Good Life City.
When you think about Albany, you think about things like a rich Black history and a town filled with people with Southern hospitality. But the downtown area is something that many people can agree needs a little love.
WALB spoke with city commissioner Jon Howard about his thoughts on downtown.
“In order for downtown to survive, we have to have a lot of foot traffic downtown during the day and in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it would not be what it was 30-some years ago because the landscape has changed and demographics have changed.” Jon Howard, city commissioner, Ward 1, said.
We met Howard for our interview on the east side of Albany. He says that this building you see on your screen was built in 1949 and was used as a clubhouse. However, for the last 10 years, it’s been left in this state.
“This building has been on the demolition list for a number of years and after talking to the contractor this morning, he assured me that they’ll have a big tractor come out here and bring the building down,” Howard said.
“So both as a citizen and a commissioner, taking properties, especially blighted, vacant properties is an issue in every community. We take it to heart here in Albany and Dougherty County,” Russel Gray, county commissioner for District 4, said.
Gray said he is passionate about seeing downtown grow into something that every resident can be proud of. He personally would like to see more activities to bring more attention to the downtown area.
“Potentially I would love to see an entertainment district created, where it’s less car travel and more foot travel, dedicated to more micro-business opportunities,” Gray said.
WALB also spoke with ASU student Michala Maddox who works downtown. She says she’s been having fun but would also like to see more downtown.
“Just like more activities like places that have actual things for you to do versus you just walking around, then also more restaurants, because eating in Albany can kind of get repetitive,” Maddox said.
Want would you like added to downtown Albany? Let us know by clicking here.
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