Wednesday was the first board meeting for Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority's new Downtown Manager Aaron Blair. Already, he's throwing projects and ideas out on the table to rejuvenate downtown Albany.
Blair already has applications ready for prospective projects.
"They would be able to give us enough information, project site, location, if they're looking for financial assistance, some images so that we can make a good decision on what we're doing with the taxpayers' money," Blair says.
While Blair is already gearing up for new downtown projects, he says the key to making them successful is giving downtown Albany a brand.
"Really right now the image of downtown is pretty negative. People don't think it's safe. I've been down here multiple times at night. There's not a safety problem here in downtown," Blair says.
He says it's a marketing problem.
"It's just an image problem that's been established over the years, people have a negative concept of what downtown is," Blair says.
Assistant Monique Broughton and Blair are collaborating to create this brand.
"We know that it's important to market and in order to market our downtown we need to have a brand and a logo, something that attracts those that are coming in and those that are here in Albany," Broughton says.
Since Blair started working with the group, ADICA has realized that they've been trying to sell their product without a logo for "buyers" to recognize them. Selling without a brand is difficult for any product.
"We just want to establish an image that everyone can recognize, 'This is downtown.' So when you see that image, whether it's a graphic image, you know that's downtown," Blair says.
Blair says they'll begin building a website but plant prime property in social media. He says traditional websites are becoming outdated. More and more people are using social media and mobile outlets to access information.
He says, regardless, they still need to build a website because they on currently listed on signs around downtown doesn't even work.