Old NAPA building, Albany Theatre to get new faces

ADICA plans to turn the old NAPA building into an outdoor art park and venue

The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority has two projects it is working on to bring life back to Downtown Albany while maintaining the city's history.

What may not be the prettiest building in downtown Albany will soon be turned into a work of art. The old NAPA building on Pine Avenue will become an art park with the help of ADICA.

"It's also an outdoor venue that would be able to be utilized for different things like our Nights @ Dtown; we could have that in the art park. You could have a fancy event in the art park, it would just be a cool thing to do," says Downtown Manager Aaron Blair.

The Levee â" which recently relocated from Dawson Road to Pine Avenue in Downtown Albany â" already expressed interest in using the art park space.

"Anytime that they'd want to utilize it for concerts or anything we would definitely want to do that to help them," says Blair.

Along with providing venue space, Blair says the park would highlight local artists.

"What we envision is that on Saturdays you'd be able to come out, walk through the art park, watch the different artists, see artists that are set up selling things," says Blair.

One local artist is even prepared to paint a mural on the back of the building. ADICA board members say his mockup of what he wants to paint may be too modern; they want the mural to be a peek into Albany's history.

"We just love history: History is just what makes a town and that's what we want people to ride by because we're down here now and people just love to daydream about the good old days," says ADICA Board Member B.J. Fletcher.

Along with the old NAPA building, ADICA also wants to renovate the Albany Theatre and Arcade. The renovations could mean new residential spaces in downtown Albany.

"We believe we can go in there and probably put four loft units in there maybe they're 700 square feet, they'd be single one bedrooms or things of that nature," says Blair. "The second floor of the arcade currently is kind of developed out as office space, and our need for office spaces isn't as much as our need for residential right now."

As renovations continue with the Albany Theatre and old NAPA building, Blair says he is working to preserve their history.

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