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New Albany wants to attract people to live downtown
Despite the recession, plans are moving forward on a major project in downtown New Albany. And it's just one of several developments being planned.
Developers want to build a $40 million project across from the Parthenon Building, a downtown landmark. The block would be transformed into a mixture of shops and housing, shops on the ground floor, and a mix of condos and apartments with a view of the Ohio River on the upper floors.
New Albany Mayor Doug England says the idea is to, "Remember when people was younger, people lived downtown, then we went through this period of everything had to go to the suburbs, now it's coming back."
This week the city and the developers, New Albany Horizons, reached an agreement that allows the project to proceed. Mayor England says, "It's very important, every project like this that brings shops, that brings people living, most imporant thing we have to have the shops downtown to generate money. But they can't generate money if they don't have people going in there, I think with people living downtown it will make it viable."
It's just the latest bit of good news for downtown New Albany. The YMCA opened last fall. Two Louisville restaurant companies, Wicks Pizza and Toast, which specializes in breakfast service, have announced plans to open restaurants there.
And the New Albanian Brew Pub just moved in this spring. Brewmaster David Pierce says, "It's fun to see it after all these years, because I grew up here and it was pretty dismal the last fifteen to twenty years. And to see it revitalized with Toast on market and, of course, us coming in and some of the other places opening up, it's very heartening."
Construction is also underway on a permanent canopy over the stage at the city's amphitheater along the riverfront. Its a $700,000 project that's designed to attract major entertainers.
Pierce says, "We're close enough to Louisville, so we're big city, but we're small enough so you don't lose that small town feeling."
The mayor says renovation of the amphitheater should be compete in time for a July 3rd celebration. And he says developers of the project along Main Street hope to begin construction by late summer.
Here's a link to the FOX 41 video: New Albany Downtown Development