Demolition work has begun at the site of The Inn at Albany Mall, making way for an Olive Garden restaurant on Dawson Road in Albany.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Demolition of the The Inn at Albany Mall has begun to make way for construction of an Olive Garden Restaurant, according to Umang Patel, co-owner of Indusa Investments.
The Newnan-based Indusa group purchased the hotel in mid 2011 and in mid November sold it to Darden Restaurants, parent company of Olive Garden.
"Demolition is taking place right now," said Patel, "It's our agreement with Darden to have it build-ready and that should be done by the first of April."
Patel said that it was his understanding from Darden the 7,537-square-foot restaurant would be completed within five or six months from the start of its construction.
Patel's business partner, Milan Patel, said that Indusa owns an additional 4.5 acres on Westover Boulevard adjacent to where the Olive Garden will be and that preliminary tenant negotiations are taking place.
"With the Olive Garden on its way we have a lot of interest already," Milan Patel said. "The restaurant is a real engine for growth."
The Patels said that while client talks are "far too early" to identify specific national brands, there would be a varied mixture of business types to maintain diversity in the area.
"We're looking at and talking to banks, cellular outlets and even upscale delis," Umang Patel said. "At the same time, we have to be concerned about traffic in the area."
According to the Patels, the new restaurant will generate an estimated 150 to 165 new jobs, while development of their additional property will employ as many as 200. The Patels said that though Indusa Investments is registered in Newnan, Albany is their single greatest concentration of holdings.
Unrelated to the Olive Garden sale, Indusa Investments recently was named one of the Bulldog 100 of 2012 by the UGA Alumni Association, Umang Patel said. The distinction, was awarded in Athens last month. Bulldog 100 recognizes each year's 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. Umang Patel said Indusa is ranked at No. 63.
"Indusa Investments has been fortunate to continue growing in today's fragile environment through dedication and hard work. This is an honor that is to be shared with our entire organization, for they are the engines that drive our growth," Umang Patel said.