Attempt under way to create $10 million development on Front Street

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Plans for a $10 million, mixed-use development along Front Street downtown are under way, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The source, who asked not to be identified because the project is still early in the negotiations and because of the sensitivity of the deal, said that real estate developer and local businessman Bob Brooks is behind the project.

Brooks, who owns several pieces of property downtown, is reportedly meeting with city officials Monday to apply for partial funding of the project through revenues from the Tax Allocation District, the source said.

The rest would be bankrolled by Brooks.

Aaron Blair, the city of Albany's downtown manager, said that the plans for the project are still in their infancy stage, but did confirm that Brooks was eager for a big development downtown.

"It's premature, but it is something we've been talking about for a while," Blair said.

Blair, who said when he was hired that one of his goals for 2011 was to begin work on a residential component downtown, said that Brooks had expressed a desire for a multi-story development that would have some kind of retail component on the first floor and apartments or condos on the second, third and fourth floors.

The project, as planned, would also include construction of a parking deck to augment the area's scarce available parking.