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ADICA approves funds for downtown projects

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority Board approved Wednesday a $450,000 draw-down on its $3 million redevelopment bond to finance completion of a downtown art park and a Pine Avenue streetscape project.

Downtown Manager Aaron Blair asked for the fund transfer to pay for $47,000 worth of demolition and repair work on a Pine Avenue art park, $50,000 to fund a facade grant program and $352,000 for an improvement project along the 100 block of Pine Avenue.

Blair also showed board members a preliminary floor plan to turn the upstairs portion of the historic Albany Theater on Jackson Street into a four-unit loft apartment complex. The downtown manager said he hoped to open the bid process on the apartment project in the next two weeks.

"Since Zane Grace Construction had not done work with the city of Albany, the city's Procurement department checked out all their references," Blair said of the Lee County-based low bidder on the streetscape project. "They came out perfect. Their bid ($352,153.46) was a little higher than we expected, but it was far and away the lowest bid. The next-closest bid was for $592,000.

"Once we complete paperwork, we expect them to start work on the project by Nov. 1."

The Pine Avenue project includes sidewalk resurfacing, streetlights, curb repairs and tree planting.

The money sought for the art park included a $41,777 demolition bid from RAC Construction and a $5,527 glass replacement bid from Dougherty Glass. The board voted to accept Blairs recommendation to approve both of the low bids.

Board member David Prisant asked Blair if he'd gotten a three-unit design for the theater project, and Blair said he'd have one done. The four-unit complex includes one-bedroom, one-bath loft apartments with roughly 800-square-feet per apartment.

"Rent will be up to us," Blair said in response to a question by board member LaNicia Hart. "But I expect the four-unit design to run in the $600 to $700 range. That's what I think our market will bear."

Attorney Jay Reynolds sought approval for three measures related to the ADICA-owned Washington Street transition center being leased by the state. Reynolds explained that the state needed approval to designate bonds used to finance the center as "bank-qualified bonds," required authority for board chairman Andrew Reid to sign off on reducing interest on the bonds to 2 percent if the state utilizes an option to purchase the center early and asked the board to pass a resolution that will make the Albany Development Facilities Board -- set up to provide ADICA with insulation against court action -- "bankruptcy-remote."

"The state pays rent on the transition center, and the rent pays the bond," Reynolds explained. "This is set up so that ADICA has very limited obligation, and there is no cost to the city."

Comments

bigbob 2 years, 2 months ago

No shortage of money here to waste. I wish i had the taxpayer funds backing me so i could waste money at will like ADICA. Like i said yesterday the post office closing is no big deal they will just throw (waste) some more taxpayer dollars at the defunk downtown.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

Lots of folks go downtown to the post office, so less will go down there. The library is closing after Christmas and will be offering less so that will take away folks. If you want to see how a downtown is done, go to Columbus. They have all these quaint restaurants and sidewalk eateries. Yes, they are open on weekends and at nite. Not so with Albany. I had my purse stolen downtown on Sunday and they had no place to use my credit cards because nothing was open. Lucky me.

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urbanpurpose 2 years, 2 months ago

Im just as concerned about watching over tax payer money as the next, but I say great job! If you attend any of these meeting you would know that ADICA is spending Tax Allocation dollars that are required to be spent Downtown. Keep up the good work!

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 2 months ago

I for one am for the Art Park. It is going to be great for the community. Can't wait to see all of this completed!

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REM 2 years, 2 months ago

This is great! Happy to see progress in improving the appearance of downtown!

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MRKIA 2 years, 2 months ago

CHECK DOWNTOWN THOMASVILLE!!!

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

I can't picture paying $600-$700 for a 1 bedroom apartment downtown. i can imagine how many times those apartments will be burglarized, but kudos for the other projects.

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bigbob 2 years, 2 months ago

Even the post office is smart enough to get out, downtowns are a thing of the past. Spend your millions & they will still be a thing of the past.

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Amazed2 2 years, 2 months ago

Im sure Zane Grace can maybe complete the project???? But awarding a bid to someone that left $250000 $$$ on the table on a $352000 project is poor judgement on Blair and the City part Basically you are going to hav to accept what you get.That is an astronomical low ball price. Good luck!!

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