D'town patrons given a sense of direction

New informational kiosks have been placed on downtown Albany street corners. / Jessica Fairley

The ADICA board met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the changing face of downtown Albany.

The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority has installed four kiosks to help guide both visitors and locals around the downtown area.

"They allow us to have a walking map that's going to list all the stores, restaurants, businesses and recreation opportunities," says Aaron Blair, ADICA Director.

Although the kiosks aren't yet fitted with their maps, for ADICA officials they show a sign of progress.

The Albany Civil Rights Museum and other businesses have struggled with bringing in visitors and by pointing people in their direction, the kiosks may help alleviate that problem.

New city maps aren't all ADICA officials are investing in. Ten downtown business owners have been selected to receive facade grants to update their look.

"It's getting rid of the non-historic elements that have been placed on these buildings over time. Old signage will be removed, some of the awnings that are in disrepair will be replaced and the color coordination between the awnings will be visually amazing," says Aaron Blair.

The Union Dry Cleaners is the only business in downtown Albany that's set to receive the full $10,000 amount. Local business owners say they anticipate the boost that downtown will get from these new upgrades.

"Hopefully this new splash of paint and new signage will just get things going and get everyone excited about coming downtown," says Lanicia Hart, Expressations Owner.

In addition to the new signs, officials anticipate beginning a new streetscape project that will restore old sidewalks and enhance crosswalks.

"That whole entire sidewalk and street is going to be completely redone to look like the rest of downtown. We're trying to keep progressing forward and taking the small steps to be successful," says Aaron Blair.

FaÃade upgrades are expected to be completed within the next six months.

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