Albany leaders discuss possible revitalization

Changes coming soon?

ALBANY, Ga. – Albany community leaders met with an Atlanta-based developer Wednesday to tour and discuss a possible revitalization of east Albany.

The group in question is known as Quest Community Development Corporation, and they’ve been responsible for revitalizing parts of the metro Atlanta area…

Now they’re meeting with city officials to see about the same thing in Albany.

“…It’s an area in east Albany that certainly needs economic development. We need new housing. We need affordable housing. And we need some type of incentive too get good grocery stores in the city. So this was just and introduction and e want to invite them back,” said Jon Howard, Ward 1 Commissioner, City of Albany.

Howard, alongside the city’s department of community and economic development took the group on a walking tour of east Albany…

Showing neighborhoods and properties that are dilapidated and even some that are blighted to highlight the needs of the city.

“These are the areas that are high poverty; housing conditions are not good. Disinvestment in the community, economic development is largely missing. So, east Albany is one of those three communities…” said John Hawthorne, Dir. Albany Dept. of Community and Economic Development.

CDC showed city leaders what they had done to revitalize parts of Atlanta, such as building new housing developments, and attracting more major businesses to the city’s west-side.

Community leaders are hoping that the years-long issue of repairing east Albany may be about to start.

“The east Albany revision was roughly a five year plan, but we have not been able to move as expeditiously as we would like to, although we have some accomplishments that are in place,” said Hawthorne.

But regardless of how the timeline may look, it certainly won’t be easy…

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I think this group today told us they had challenges and difficulties in Atlanta. So if they can overcome that in Atlanta, than we can overcome that in Albany as well, and Dougherty county…” said Commissioner Howard.

While no plans are set in stone at this time, both quest CDC and the City of Albany feel optimistic about the possibility of revitalization.

The City of Albany will also meet with other development groups to discuss revitalization in east Albany, no names or dates were give out about those meetings.

Brian Roche reporting.

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