ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Albany leaders want to revitalize business in the Good Life City. A possible plan: establishing what they’re calling “commercial districts” in needed areas, like around the Albany Mall.
City Commissioner Chad Warbington said Albany is the Atlanta of Southwest Georgia.
He said things that Atlanta does are successful and it’s a success he hopes the city brings to Albany.
Warbington said business owners will have a chance to say what they need in order to attract more customers.
The type of business district city leaders are looking at is called a commercial improvement district, or CID.
“In Atlanta, there’s been over 25 CIDs formed in the last decade. And really, they allow a group of commercial properties to join together to form a quasi-government to self-tax themselves. To allow them to invest in things that really make them grow and make it more attractive for other businesses to come in,” said Warbington.
A CID is for improvements, like hiring additional security, lighting, and even sidewalks.
Warbington said having these commercial properties come together makes it easier to help provide economic growth.
“The number I hear from our consultants is that Albany’s population almost doubles during the day. We have over 130,000 people who come into our city during the day when our population is only 70,000. So that really shows that people are coming to Albany to shop, to work, to put gas in their cars. So what we want to do is to do things to make it easier to come into Albany to spend their money,” said Warbington.
The next step in this process is waiting on the state legislature to approve this project, which will begin in January. Once approved the city will begin to reach out to businesses that are interested during the summer.
CID programs are something new for Southwest Georgia. Ultimately, this helps business owners with commercial improvements.
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