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."