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Gander Mountain, new businesses break ground in Albany

A worker from Oxford construction operates a piece of heavy machinery on a lot that will soon be the home to outdoors outfitter Gander Mountain.

A worker from Oxford construction operates a piece of heavy machinery on a lot that will soon be the home to outdoors outfitter Gander Mountain.

ALBANY, Ga. —The dirt being scooped in Albany as at least three new businesses continue the work of building their Albany facilities.

Gander Mountain, an outdoors outfitter, has hired Oxford Construction to break ground at the Albany Mall on its new 45,000-square-foot facility.

As The Herald first reported in early February, the store will be located on the mall’s northern end between Dillards and Outback Steakhouse.

“Gander Mountain has been a well-known and trusted name in the South among those who love the outdoors, and who enjoy great traditions like hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and camping,” said David Pratt, Gander Mountain’s president and CEO. “We are happy to be able to add two more stores for our friends in Alabama and Georgia, and give more people in the region opportunities to experience our top-quality gear and knowledgeable service at great prices.”

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard was thrilled with the influx of new development.

“I am delighted to welcome Gander Mountain to Albany, Georgia,” Hubbard said in a prepared statement distributed Friday. “This is great news for the Albany-Southwest Georgia region, to learn that a company with a reputation like Gander Mountain plans to become a part of our community. As the retail hub of Southwest Georgia, we are always glad when new businesses come in that will bring more people here to shop. We are looking forward to having Gander Mountain in this community.”

The store is expected to open later this year.

A stone’s throw away, Petsmart has begun reworking a space where Steinmart previously was located near Hobby Lobby. The pet store has not announced a opening date, however all of the building permits have been filed with the City of Albany.

Southwest of those two locations, in Albany’s midtown district, Kaufmann Tire has started construction of its new facility just behind Walgreens near the intersection of Pine Avenue and Slappey Boulevard.

The developments join construction of two new Albany hotels, which are already under construction in Northwest Albany. In sum, the construction currently under way is the most in Albany since before the start of the great recession.

Downtown, officials say several projects are at various stages of planning or construction. Several downtown businesses have improved the facades of their businesses with new signage. The Pine Avenue streetscape project on the 100 block of Pine Avenue is under way and construction of new canoe launches along the riverbank are set to begin in early Fall, Downtown Manager Aaron Blair says.

A little further out, the Woodalls gas station and convenience store franchise is expanding with a new store on North Jefferson Street.

Additionally, the SOWEGA Council on Aging’s new center is nearing completion in the Arcadia District between Jackson and Jefferson streets.