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Vacant businesses stand around Albany

Places like Ryan's have been sitting idle in Albany.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

Some Albany staples like Ryan's Steakhouse, Logan's Roadhouse and Sears have all closed permanently.

Most recently, the Albany K-Mart announced that they will be closing in April.

FOX 31 sat down with city leaders to find out what may take the place of some of these vacant businesses.

‘I feel like they’re taking away all the things that matter. The places that you know we as family like to go shop at," said Wafford.

Life long Albany resident Mesha Wafford says that she grew up enjoying places like Ryan's Steakhouse and K-Mart.

She says she made many childhood memories talking around the dinner table at Ryan's, enjoying the company of her loved ones.

"Just going out to eat at Ryan’s there with her and meeting with the family on Sunday after church. Just sitting out, eating and you know talking, laughing, if I could have that one moment back it would be excellent," said Wafford.

Wafford says she hates to see these stores and restaurants have closed and continue to close.

Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Marietta says he too is concerned about some of the empty businesses around our city.

“I look around my ward and I am concerned about the empty movie theater down at the corner of Slappey and Gillionville, and there’s an empty Harvey's there as well. And of course, I’m sad to see that K-Mart is closing," said Marietta.

Recently, the old Piggly Wiggly on Westover was purchased by Phoebe to use for office space, the Harvey's off of Oak Ridge is being used by a local non-profit and on Friday, the EDC announced that the old Gander Mountain will become a 'Gander Outdoors.'

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says vacant buildings is an issue right now in most cities throughout the state.

She believes in order to keep customers coming to our local businesses, employees need to be trained properly.

" I want to be told hello, how are you doing or whatever. If I’m going to go in there and spend my money, I don't want to hear slang. That affects the bottom line and I just would want businesses to be aware that as they’re training their employees," said Hubbard.

Mayor Hubbard says the best thing to do is shop local.

Marietta adds that liquor licenses may be the key to re-purposing some of the larger closed restaurants like Logan's and Ryan's.

“It’s hard to lose money I think if your selling alcohol and I would think somebody would come in and open up a lounge or a restaurant bar type situation and I’m optimistic about that," said Marietta.


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