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Squawk of the day - May 12, 2013

"Before ADICA spends a tremendous sum demolishing the Albany Theatre and building loft apartments, we ask them to hire a qualified market analyst to see if anyone is willing to live downtown and pay a responsible rate for rent to fund the return in a timely manner."

For more squawks, pick up a copy of today's Albany Herald.

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Comments

dickyboy 1 year, 7 months ago

Agree....and who wants to park there car at night on the 100 block of N Jackson.. If the city didn't help the newer merchants pay there rent it would be a real ghost town...

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erock 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't fault the police or law enforcement for crime being what it is in Albany. Sure there are some officers who do a better job than others, and there are some who aren't on the up and up. Like anything else, there are exceptions to the rule. The blame lies in our justice system and the sorry parents of these barbarians who cause the problems. They should be thrown in jail themselves. If they have to suffer from little Johnys mistakes too, pretty soon Little Johnny will begin to get the idea.

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alleebrin 1 year, 7 months ago

I can't imagine anyone who would want to live downtown! Take a look at the Malone Tower and Albany Heights and I think you will find those people are welfare recipients and low-income dwellers. NOTHING IS GOING TO WORK DOWNTOWN - too much of the trashy element.

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dingleberry 1 year, 7 months ago

Albany Heights is supposedly being foreclosed on because the owner with a DCED loan has not made a payment in years. This building will be a target for the next group of apartments hopefully with private money. Years of neglect will make this an expensive effort.

But if the renovation is successful,, wouldn't it be nice to sit a your expensive window and watch panhandlers work the crowd at the newly renovated library?

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oldster 1 year, 7 months ago

Living in apartments in the heart of downtown Albany would be.... Are you out of your minds? Please do check and see how many are willing to live there before you build anything with one penny of public money.

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dingleberry 1 year, 7 months ago

Beware those who say they will buy downtown to live when a "yes" has no financial commitment. The Squawk indicates the units will be rented but to make thing work, is should be "sales".

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RedEric 1 year, 7 months ago

It has worked in other downtowns, although in communities with much lower welfare populations. Bringing in jobs will not reduce the number of welfare recipients it will only reduce the percentage. People who want jobs will move in. Crime seems to go with the welfare lifestyle, the idle hands proverb. Downtown living generally improves the community. Statistics, experts and general know it alls will tell us that.

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erock 1 year, 7 months ago

just because they tell us that, doesn't mean that I believe it. Where are you getting your information?

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1d2ec 1 year, 7 months ago

Work camps where Non violent offenders are required to grow their own food, cook for themselves, clean their clothes, build and do the necessary up keep for the themselves is a better solution than jail. A daily 2 hour education session that includes doing for others may be helpful.

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Your missing the point here! ADICA and Aaron Blair the downtown manager are not necessarily trying to make money from the Lofts etc. The have and are and will rent, lease etc at below cost. Blair is trying to RePopulate Downtown along with ADICA at taxpayer expense. Basically building with tax dollars the rent cheap below cost. Trying to buy a population to support all the new businesses coming to town. They have been renting Cheap Cheap Cheap since Son Buie got off the bus and you can see how much downtown development its brought. Blair rents cheap some takers some come for a while and leave. Its a Big Monopoly Game to ADICA and Blair.

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dingleberry 1 year, 7 months ago

Is what is left of a decimated downtown enough to ever sustain itself without continual support with public monies?. Will a handful of residents downtown generate an influx businesses? Or, will a handful of businesses generate an influx or residents? Perhaps a bigger question is "Is there even a glass to be half full or half empty?".

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Lofts have worked in downtown Columbus because they have business jobs near downtown. Several Banks commited 15+ yes ago to stay downtown expand etc. Total System built near downtown. They originally employed upwards of 4000 people. Other large companies local and others committed. Still after all of that you only see just 3 to 4 blocks of shops and bars and cafe. Still Columbus downtown is mostly a breakfast lunch area. A lot to most close in evenings. Without business and I mean big business Albany will just be ADICA and Blair plying Monopoly.

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

Albany has had poor success with rejuvenating downtown using public money. What did all the money spent by ATI accomplish? What has ADICA really done in all its years? Does anyone know what has already been plowed into what we now have?

To its credit, Columbus does seem to have saved what was left of its downtown although Amazed2's observation on the extent of the result may be correct. Perhaps what we need to do is pick out some cities that have been successful and look at how it was really done.

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Albany made a huge mistake long time ago by demolishing and leveling the heart of old Albany. Jackson to Washington and Pine to Broad was leveled except for a few shops along Jackson. Albany tried to redevelop and bringing people downtown with government buildings. We got a School Admin Bldg, a 6 story City Admin Bldg and a over budget multi million dollar federal courthouse. Then a single prospector developer comes in because nobody really had a plan and they let him buy up a lot of the remaining properties. Basically that also stalled out any momentum that downtown had at the time. He tried to make excessive profits off his capture of land. Oh well here we are today 20 years later still trying to land a mom and pop coffee shop.

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

When the decision was made to fill up downtown with tax exempt government entities, it pretty well limited where the rest of downtown was headed.

The best example of a lack of direction and commercial faux pas was ADICA/Buie's subsidized rent of the defunct downtown Dollar Square store. Great addition to a downtown needing to draw money from folks living in the burbs! Do something even if it's wrong since doing anything is progress to some. And I'm not sure we have changed this perspective.

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agirl_25 1 year, 7 months ago

Is there another Dollar Square...........the one out past the airport? If so did it ever actually open for business?

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

Sad situation on that one agirl25. The city loaned Loronzo Williams of North American Equities, Stone Mtn, $100,000 to build that jewel that went belly up while we held the bag. It opened but not for long. We don't learn quickly.

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agirl_25 1 year, 7 months ago

Very sad indeed whattheheck. No, it looks like the city doesn't learn quickly, does it. I wonder just how much money the city has flushed down the toilet over the years with their loans. Thanks for the heads up on that.

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daisymae 1 year, 7 months ago

First, the only thing these Loft Apartments will be are for those Low Income folks. Working people do not want to live downtown and park their vehicles in the heart of downtown at night, heck they don't want to go there in the day light hours. Second and most important, Albany has already made the decision to spend your tax dollars no matter what the citizens say or think. Until you people vote those idiots out of office and put someone in that cares about the community this kind of stupidity will never stop.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 7 months ago

Do not compare Columbus to Albany. It is a thriving growing city. Schools are good, jobs begging folks to move and live and make a very good wage. If not in Columbus, then in Auburn. In Albany folks are willing to accept piecemeal. The payscale here is so low you have to have babysitter assistance. $125/week fro 1 child and you are lucky to get $8/hr before taxes. Substitute teachers must have 45 hours of college credits and make minimum wage. If you need a job and have that with a clean background, you can work to get a job at DCSS. Subs should be making $75/day and not a penny less, hence there is a shortage. This is the norm in Albany. skilled labor gets nothing in salaries and folks move to greener pastures. Cannot blame them. It is a dying town and no matter how you raise the taxes, it will go under. Many of the older taxpayers are dying Owens died this week,, several every month and their offspring do not live here. Better wake up before it is too late.

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ZCorp 1 year, 7 months ago

Tear it down. Progress must move forward. Tear it all down, make its huge parking lot

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ZCorp 1 year, 7 months ago

Albany, Ga is beautiful, final place to spend ones elder years of a slow, simple ,paced older years of ones life. The quiet is nice. That is why downtown should be closed, and made into a huge park and a huge gigantic asphalt parking lot. Watch the wind, the birds, and the rustle of the trees, while remembering memories of times gone by. We are in those years

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erock 1 year, 7 months ago

Until you get the attention major, reputable business such as TSYS or something similar, that has the money to restructure downtown the way Total Systems did in Columbus, it's not going to happen. Mom and pop sandwich shops are great but they alone can not sustain downtown.

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Whattheheck I could not agree more that Columbus has been successful in stabilizing what was left of old downtown. But without participation of Private Big Business such as Total Systems huge development which brought in at the time upwards of 4000 employees I not sure they could have been nearly as successful. The Total System Development kind of got other people on the bandwagon and major and regional banks expanded operation centers downtown rather than suburbs. All this along with other things just puts a lot of people inside a couple square miles everyday so little mom and pop places thrived. But not much happening at night. A large percentage of day people go back across to Phoenix City and the northern suburbs Buy they have been able to retain a good share of people with a mix of professionals in that area. So yes they have been successful But pull out Total Systems early on what would you have. All that said Albany dies not have any of what Columbus had and has. Only Bob Brooks who is trying to do some things with the Studle leftovers.

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agirl_25 1 year, 7 months ago

I think Albany was one of the most beautiful cities I have seen in the South. In all my travels thru the south I think Albany laid claim to some of the loveliest houses and tree lined avenues in the area. Some of them were on par with the avenue in Eufaula where all the big beautiful homes line either side. It is sad to think back to how it has gone down. I can even remember shopping in downtown Albany, at Belk's department store. It would be wonderful to see the city back to the way it was years ago....but I won't hold my breath.

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

Albany's "best years" are in its rear view mirror. Heck, most likely all of its good years are likewise. The comment "Albany was" is fitting.

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Oldguy 1 year, 7 months ago

Downtown Albany is a total lost cause !!! Can anyone tell me how many millions of dollars have been squandered trying to restore it? I have lived here for over 55 years and have witnessed the demise of downtown over that time. Albany in general has gone down hill at a faster and faster rate. I predict that in 10 years Albany from Slappey will be a huge crime ridden slum area Third avenue and South will also be in this category. Albany is not a safe place to visit or do business. I am moving to Worth County, GOOD BYE ALBANY.

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LoneCycler 1 year, 7 months ago

Rode my bike downtown this Sunday around 11 AM. Place was a ghost town. Lots of traffic on Oglethorpe but people were just driving through. Only thing happening was church service.

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Cartman 1 year, 7 months ago

Financial viability is not really a consideration. That's why they are willing to gamble your money on the venture.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 7 months ago

@ Cart your correct "Financial viability is not really a consideration", Not one of our "Leaders" cares one bit about a project's viability when they have nothing invested but our Tax dollars. NOT one of them has a clue how make money, or invest money for a return on the investment. Why should they care it is just "FREE" money from the taxpayers.

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