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Developer eyes WG&L building

New Start Community Development LLC will give a presentation of what can do with the site, officials say.

The Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission was founded 100 years ago to serve as Albany’s municipal utility.

The Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission was founded 100 years ago to serve as Albany’s municipal utility.

ALBANY, Ga. — A Birmingham, Ala.-based developer will be in Albany on Thursday to try to convince city leaders and downtown stakeholders that the company has a feasible redevelopment plan for the While WG&L hasn't yet closed on a new headquarters building it's trying to buy on the 800 block of West Broad Avenue, New Start Community Development, LLC., has been eyeing WG&L's current site for several weeks as the site of a mixed-use redevelopment project, local real estate developer William Hancock says.

Thursday’s meeting “is really to give this group a chance to share their vision and their idea for what can be done with that building if WG&L moves out,” Hancock said. “They’ve been in town and have done some walk-throughs and think they have a pretty good idea for how to transform that property.”

The utility headquarters is the former home to the Hotel Gordon, which was purchased by WG&L and the city, which converted it into WG&L’s central offices.

According to its website, New Start Community Development, or NSCD, is designated as a Community Development Entity by the federal government, which allows it access and petition for a variety of tax credits that help lower the cost of redevelopment projects.

“NSCD not only focuses on underserved communities, but we help more stable and secure communities find ways to reinvent their stagnant retail or housing developments by helping inject the right combination of retail, investment and community amenities,” the company’s website states. “Ultimately, all of these tools allow NSCD and their partner community create new revenue and confidence which translates into more funding for schools and infrastructure to give all of its citizens the best chance of success. This leads to an environment of total self-reliance and upward movement for everyone.”

While the details of the NSCD’s redevelopment plan for the building won’t be released until the meeting, Hancock said the general plan involves retail space on the bottom floor of the building, with the upper floors being converted into medium-income residential living space.

“What’s missing in downtown is that residential component,” Hancock said. “I think that’s something that this developer is trying to address. Right now, once the offices close downtown, everything just shuts down and it’s dead. A residential component could change that.”

Comments

dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

If the plan for the old Gordon building sounds good, expect the price on the Suntrust building to increase unless we already have a binder at a fixed price on the property which is likely. And expect a sole source contract to be in the making for the developer--how can it be competed once this is done?

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Amazed2 2 years, 3 months ago

It is easy to sit on the WGL Board and vote to spend millions of dollars when it "Ain't' your millions of Dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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CJ_Fan 2 years, 3 months ago

Question. Will this be a private development with private money or yet another money pit to throw tax dollars into. Will the developer pay cash or will the city finance the transaction and what is the recourse in case of default?

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whattheheck 2 years, 3 months ago

You can expect federal funds of some kind to be used perhaps supplemented with hopefully a lessor amount of local taxpayer money. My guess is no private money will be in a project like this, which will likely be another in a long line of losers, unless public money will guarantee it.

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