Albany Roses store temporarily changing locations, east side leaders push for new businesses
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Major changes are coming to the Oglethorpe Plaza Shopping Center, starting with Rose’s Discount Store.
After working with the property manager to address the store’s broken airconditioning and other major maintenance issues, Albany Ward 1 Commissioner Jon Howard says he and City Attorney Nathan Davis finally got some positive news back from Albany Code Enforcement.
“They’re going to move out of the store into a new building, and then they’re going to demolish on the eastside and the westside of Roses shopping center,” Commissioner Howard said. “And then it will be able to be a stand-alone store, meaning that it will have no connection to another store and all that.”
The email sent from Anthony Jenkins with code enforcement to attorney Davis reads in part, “Rose’s Department Store roof leaks will be repaired by Shriver’s Roofing and Albany Air to make repairs to the Air Conditioning unit. Mr. Outlaw stated that a company has also been contacted to repair potholes in the parking lot.”
Nathan Outlaw is the general contractor hired by the owner of the Roses shopping complex.
Roses Discount Store is still temporarily closed, and Davis says they’re working to figure out when they will move to a new location and start making the changes to the old building.
“The first step will be because they did not outline things or give a date or give schedules, is when are they going to actually get the building permit to start,” Davis said. “So I’m going to work with them and we’re going to do our best to get a timeline from them so we’ll have something concrete.”
City leaders tell WALB they are hoping the demolition of the sides of the plaza will leave room for new businesses to come.
Citizens who live and or work on the east side add that Rose’s and other buildings have been a problem for quite some time.
“One of the concerns that I have is the kids who go to school walking by these dilapidated buildings is concerning,” Pastor Tate with the Church of God by Faith said. “It’s a hangout for drug havens and drug activities. And so the concern is the safety of our community. The safety of the kids. We want to have our community look like the other side. The northside.”
Community leaders say they want more businesses to come to the east side of Albany, but that they need to keep up with their properties.
“We want to support Rose’s. This was not about Rose’s,” District 5 Commissioner Gloria Gaines said. “We want them here. We want them to continue to employ those 45 people. We want them to continue to do business here. But at the same time, we have to demand that we stop inhumane conditions, and that’s why we’re here.”
“I’m more concerned about the plight of the community,” Tate said. “The funds that are generated in the community and they leave the community so fast instead of circulating in the community. These big franchises come in and they really don’t have the best interest of the patrons. It’s all about money.”
One woman at Tuesday’s press conference says she too believes there are too many absent property owners with buildings in Albany.
She offered up a suggestion to fix the problem.
“My suggestion is while we are looking for a better fix for us in some other places you all can look at some of our code regulations and maybe update them cause they were written many, many many years ago, to where there are more stricter enforcements on our absentee landlords,” the attendant said.
The timeline for Roses to temporarily relocate is still unknown.
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