New hotel, restaurants could be coming to downtown Albany

There could be some big changes coming to downtown Albany.

At tonight's Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority, or ADICA, board meeting members commissioned a look at a new hotel and restaurants coming to the area right in the heart of the Good Life City, and that's not all they approved

After an hour long executive session, the ADICA board made the big announcement.

Shandon Development approached downtown leaders about the possibility of developing a new hotel, and several restaurants along the 100 block of Front Street.

Downtown Manager Aaron Blair says it's a sign of progress

"I think its starting to pick up, and that's what we wanted to see especially in the tail end," Blair said; "I'm seeing people here that have been waiting to see how this was going to turn out and they'll tell me you know we've been waiting on the sidelines to see how this was going to turn out."

The ADICA board is paying the firm $40,000 to develop a master plan for that area. That plan should be ready in the next 60 to 90 days according to an agreement finalized Wednesday.

Chairwoman Lanicia Hart says with large numbers of people showing interest in downtown this move is the right one.

"Just to be able to accommodate the numbers that we're trying to bring into this area," Hart said.

The board also gave the green light for a new canoe and kayak launch on the Flint River.

"Anything we can do to engage the river more, it brings excitement, and other retail possibilities for people who are into outdoor life," said Blair.

Construction should begin on that project later this month with hopes of being completed by early next year.

The board put that vote on the skate park off until December's meeting. They did, however, discuss a potential buyer for the property and possible plans for a restaurant on the site if they do move the park.

Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!