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LIke buying a chair and never sitting in it, or letting anyone else sit in it either.
Since I have lived downtown for the past 8 months I feel like I am in a unique position to describe my place of residence.
It does have indoor parking in one of the two city garages, my old apartment on Westover did not have that, sure I have to walk less than a block, but that's good exercise. My vehicle which is a 2010 model was never vandalized or damaged, I was always sure to leave valuables out of plain sight though, so someone foolish may not be so lucky.
I never feared being robbed or harmed, and never was. I know there are more than a dozen cameras downtown, plus I see dozens of police cars EVERYDAY, mostly changing shift at the central police department behind my residence, but none-the-less a greater presence than I saw in NW Albany where I saw about 1 a week
I have 3 smoke detectors and an alarm system I installed myself and use consistently. It is monitored and I receive instant text alerts for any event. Fortunately it has never had to be utilized for an emergency event, however the response time from police and fire I assume would be faster than wherever you live as they are 35 feet and 1,600 feet away respectively.
If you have any other ideas on how to remove the stigma of downtown being unsafe please let me know, I will be happy to share them and help implement them. My strategy to help remove the stigma was to move downtown and provide a demonstration to Albanians, I like to call it leadership.
40 people would be great whattheheck! If you look at the data currently 62 people live within a 1/4 mile of downtown. If you could increase that population by 66% that would have a tremendously positive impact on downtown and help support the downtown businesses. The streets wouldn't seem like a ghost town after the 9-5 crowd leaves and others from outside who visit downtown would experience positive interaction, a "community" if you will downtown. Every positive change starts from humble beginnings.
Cartman, since it is well documented that Wal-Mart ships jobs overseas, provides low quality products and puts mom and pop shops out of business, why shouldn't people that choose to shop there be taxed for the negative impacts on society and our community that results from their decision. Makes sense to me.
The missing element is PEOPLE Sister_Ruby. Downtowns are designed for people, walking and strolling, interacting and breaking down what makes us different - that is what makes them different than their autocentric suburban counterparts, where malls are the closest preversion to a downtown.
There are not enough people coming into Downtown Albany, but by methodically providing places for PEOPLE to live in downtown instead of hoping and praying for people from outside of it to come to it, Oh my GOD we can actually lure new businesses. Businesses locate where people are, not where people are not.
It is obvious that public resources have not been spent as responsibly as possible in Albany's past - indisputable. But only a fool would ASSUME that every public servant, who holds the trust of the taxpayers would squander the money as others have done. It takes a lot of work to even attempt to undo the damage the taxpayers have allowed to occur in the past. Only by breaking down the walls and incrementally trusting the new guard can positive change even possibly take place. YOU hold the key!
I disagree. There are numerous buildings in downtown Albany that would make great lofts. Lofts do not necessarily have to be in old buildings, new construction in a loft style or as soft-lofts is also an option to increase the critical mass necessary for large scale redevelopment. The pretense that you see just a “token few” sounds arbitrary, unless you have a construction or architectural background and have personally inspected all of the buildings in Albany’s central business district. The reality is that people who historically saw opportunity in run down dilapidated inner city buildings created the loft style of living (and the economic redevelopment that followed) by dismissing the apprehensive attitudes of others who proclaimed such structures as worthless relics of a bygone era.
There is also more than enough commercially zoned space in Albany's Central Business district, so that argument seems erroneous. While statistically higher household incomes exist in the “Northwest Albany” the decision whether or not to come into downtown particularly in the evening is one of misplaced fear of it being “unsafe.” This perception is also not validated by data, nor my personal experiences as a downtown resident for the past six months.
Your last point also fails to be credible. Lofts work in cities regardless of scale or population, the seasoned traveler can find them in cities smaller and slightly larger than Albany such as Valdosta, Thomasville, Columbus and Augusta. They are occupied mainly by those who are younger, empty-nesters and those that are artistically engaging. These residents provide after hours street life needed to support businesses, without them it is extremely challenging for businesses to stay open after the hours of 9a-5p.
According to the U.S. Census, Albany’s Daytime Weekday Population Change is +18.9% yielding a population of 91,513, which means Albany is still a major regional employment center. It also means that residents who would like to live downtown, and are not deterred by high crime hearsay may not actually live in-town because of a lack of housing options. Keep in mind that at least three of Albany’s largest employers are located within walking distance of the Central Business District: The City of Albany, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Albany State University.
I am glad Mr. Blair sees that housing is a critical component to the redevelopment of Downtown Albany. Lofts will fit in with other initiatives such as the Nights @ Dtown and the Art Park to provide a housing option that does not currently meet the demands here in Albany, providing those that seek such a lifestyle the option to reside comfortably in Albany while supporting local businesses, other downtown initiatives, and if you will, setting a physical example for those naysayers amongst us.
Last login: Thursday, December 13, 2012