Last October, the Albany City Council authorized the city staff to negotiate to buy the former Wells Fargo Bank branch at First Avenue and Broadalbin Street. On Friday, the city closed on the purchase for $1.5 million.
After years of talking about it, Albany is trying to follow its neighbors on the Willamette River by stimulating redevelopment of its riverfront. The first step — you guessed it — is finding a consultant.
Albany’s urban renewal agency will try to buy a downtown property. They don’t want the public to know which one, but it sounds like the building and parking lot of the former Wells Fargo branch on First Avenue.
So what comes next for CARA, the central Albany urban renewal district? Mayor Sharon Konopa has an idea, and she mentioned it Saturday at the completion ceremony of the city’s two-year downtown streetscape project.
Albany’s downtown renewal board may now be on its way to setting priorities for completing its mission. That’s the vague but hopeful main news from Wednesday’s monthly session of the CARA advisory board.
CARA is being asked to give $10,000 to another downtown Albany building venture, but the push for major projects to complete and then wind up the 17-year-old urban renewal program seems to remain stalled.