612 Albany businesses closed in 2012 including some popular names like Johnny Carino's and multiple Winn-Dixie Locations, but the economy may finally be on the mend after numerous stores broke ground in the past week.Included in the list of businesses coming to town is a 45,000 square foot Gander Mountain outdoors store, an Ulta beauty supply shop, PetSmart, Kaufmann Tire, Party City and a new Waffle House location.Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem says these big names will have a huge impact on the economy, including to the existing businesses as many people will drive from outside of town and make a full day of shopping and dining in Albany.City Commissioner Bob Langstaff says this news is exciting because as other businesses see each other investing in Albany, even more names like Best Buy may begin to look at the town as well to see what it has to offer.Officials say Albany has a lot of potential and is a great hub for shopping, so it only makes sense that more stores are setting up shop on the heavily-traveled roads.When asked "Why Albany?" Gander Mountain representatives responded saying, "the decision to come to Albany was made after careful consideration of the community as a regional center in southwest Georgia, and knowing the region's love for the outdoors. Folks in Georgia cherish their time outdoors, passing down traditions in things like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, boating and other fun from generation to generation. Combine all of that with a vibrant growing community and the warm welcome we've already received from the local business community and the mayor, and long before the doors have opened, Albany is looking like the next great place for Gander Mountain to call home."The outdoor outfitter, PetSmart and Party City have all begun construction at their locations on Dawson Road and Development Services Senior Manager Tracy Hester says although he can't confirm names, other businesses are also showing interest in Albany so you may see even more construction in the upcoming months.
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