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ADICA focused on a number of downtown projects

A construction worker tears up sidewalk on the north side of Pine Avenue at Washington Street as part of an ADICA Pine Avenue streetscape project on Thursday. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

A construction worker tears up sidewalk on the north side of Pine Avenue at Washington Street as part of an ADICA Pine Avenue streetscape project on Thursday. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

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T.J. Tuten, on recess from home schooling with his mother, Gwen, works on his skateboard tricks at the downtown Albany skate park at 125 College Drive on Thursday. ADICA officials say there is renewed interest regarding the purchase of the skate park. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — Now that the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority has completed the permitting process and is awaiting completion of a package by the city’s procurement department to advertise bids for three planned canoe/kayak launches downtown, there appears to be renewed interest in the nearby ADICA-owned skate park.

ADICA President/CEO Aaron Blair said Thursday two individuals had approached him about purchase of the park at 125 College Drive since a recent sealed bid for the property drew no interest. One of the prospects told Blair he’d like to maintain the skate park and add an outfitter business on the property.

“I’m not sure exactly how much land goes with that property, but if it goes all the way to the (Flint) river, that would certainly make it more appealing for any kind of outfitter business,” Blair said. “One of the people interested in the skate park made a (monetary) offer, but I told him we had to go through a bid process in case others were interested in purchasing the property.

“I’ve since been contacted by another person who’d expressed interest in the property before.”

ADICA board member David Prisant had asked Blair at the authority’s Wednesday board meeting if a specific value had been placed on the land to use as a bid floor, but Blair said City Attorney Nathan Davis was still researching the matter. The board voted to allow another bid on the property.

Blair also said Thursday he’s working with representatives of West Albany’s 340: A Creative Group who are interested in becoming the primary sponsor of the annual FlintFest celebration. Blair said the 340 Group’s involvement in the festival would be a win-win for downtown.

“I look at their participation as another step in the community’s buy-in of downtown,” the ADICA president said. “The guys at 340 have talked with us about possible in-kind help, and since we did budget some money for FlintFest, that might be a possibility. They definitely want to be the main sponsor. They’ve indicated they’d make some changes in the layout, make it more like Mardi Gras by incorporating Pine and Front streets.”

Blair said this year’s FlintFest is tentatively scheduled Nov. 5.

“The one issue (facing 340) is time,” he said. “That’s a quick turnaround. We might talk about a later date.”

Blair gave the ADICA board updates on the ongoing ADICA-sponsored Pine Avenue streetscape project, which is roughly 85 percent finished, and the Old Northside streetlight project, which may begin as soon as two weeks.