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Downtown development meetings set for this week

ALBANY -- Today will begin a two-day series of public meetings during which officials instrumental to downtown development hope to get the public's input into the types of projects they would support full time.

Known as a "charrette," the idea is to get as much public comment on the concept of downtown Albany as possible, James Taylor, the interim head of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority said.

The goal is to get a comprehensive vision of what the public wants downtown to be -- a nightclub or entertainment district, a mixed-use residential and commercial development or something else entirely -- and then develop projects that developers can get behind to make that vision a reality, Taylor said.

The two-day event will start tomorrow with a meeting of the ADICA board at 5 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the government center.

Wednesday, the majority of the community-oriented meetings are set focusing on two time windows -- between 9 and 11 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. at the Albany Law Enforcement Center at Oglethorpe Boulevard and Washington Street.

Taylor said that 18 people have expressed intentions to come so far, but that the public -- including bankers, contractors and developers and ordinary citizens -- is invited.

"We need as much input as possible to make this thing work," Taylor said.