International Downtown Association Awards Downtown Albany Residential Development Strategy

November 7, 2018

Click here to view the announcement’s press release

During its 64th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in San Antonio, the International Downtown Association recognized Capitalize Albany Corporation and the Downtown Albany Residential Development Infinitive, awarding the strategic plan a certificate of merit.

The City began the Downtown Residential Development Initiative in 2002 with the purpose of increasing mixed-use development and adding residential units in its downtown. This was a strategic recommendation of the City’s economic development strategy — Capitalize Albany — first released in 1996. The strategy identified downtown diversification as a critical element of the City’s overall economic revitalization.

Since strategy implementation began, more than $85 million has been invested into downtown residential. While investment continues to produce 100 – 200 new apartment units each year, the Downtown Residential Initiative has yielded exciting results. To date, \more than 500,000 sq. ft. of obsolete commercial office space has been converted. As of 2018 the number of new downtown apartment units completed and the hundreds currently under construction and in the pipeline combined total more than 1,000 units. It signals an ongoing shift and momentum that’s supported by the Downtown Albany Residential Initiative and the strategic economic development plan for downtown — Impact Downtown Albany.

At the initiative’s inception, market analysis demonstrated the residential market in downtown could be extensively built out, increase the tax base, create hundreds of construction jobs — additional downtown residents would enable the City to attract the next level of commercial and retail investment. The Initiative’s first step was work towards understanding the market for residential units downtown and how it would support overall economic growth. The second stage of the Initiative involved analyzing existing conditions and the potential re-use of targeted properties. Its third stage involved property renovations.

The imitative was designed to inspire new investment in downtown Albany’s core. Establishing downtown’s potential supported bringing multiple economic development partners together, and the development community. Today more than a dozen development teams are investing in downtown Albany’s mixed-use residential opportunities. Establishing the neighborhood’s identity supported attracting residents, and today a variety of new retailers are coming online. More than 70% of downtown residents come from outside the City of Albany, 74% are younger singles and couples, 21% empty nesters and retirees, 5% traditional families/households.