16 Jan 2020

Georgia’s Energy Cities Revealing their Urban Centers

fyi – GA’s Energy Cities at Work

Albany , GA – Hotel to Hotel, Again

Developers are planning to return Albany’s historic Hotel Gordon into a mixed-use development project that will include both a boutique hotel and a data center. The bottom floors are a state-of-the-art blockchain transaction confirmation operation, using specialized servers to process and validate third party blockchain financial transactions.

The rehab of the historic 6-story, 58,000 square-foot property located at 207 Pine Avenue will total an investment of $13.6 million and anticipates 43 jobs. The hotel should be opened 2021. The property was previously home to Albany Utilities from 1976 to 2017 and it was Hotel Gordon from 1925 to 1976.

Hogansville, GA – New Life at the Grand Hotel

Revitalization is on the minds of developers, Pioneer Hogansville. Pioneer Hogansville bought Hogansville’s Grand Hotel and adjoining buildings for $1.65 million. Pioneer co-founder Tim Morgan said the group aims to renovate and re-open the 11-room hotel, a cornerstone of the town’s downtown. Also included is a restaurant, bar, covered patio and two retail spaces spread across four parcels. Pioneer earlier helped launch a coffeehouse in Hogansville’s former train station, as well as a pub.

Monroe, GA – Transformation Realized 

When cities’ downtowns wither, municipal leaderships have a herculean task to reverse perceptions and encourage entrepreneurs to take risks. Monroe was recognized by its peers for just such a revival. The city had worked to earn Mainstreet status in 2009, but by 2012 there was high turnover in part-time staff and businesses that had been cornerstones of downtown were closing.

Steps of the turnaround:

  • Full-time downtown manager
  • Re-energized members of downtown development authority
  • Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Humanities partnership for arts installations and new events
  • Use of multiple funding sources, Department of Community Affairs and Georgia Cities Foundation
  • Community Development Block Grant for a blighted property

Today, with current downtown occupancy at 100 percent and the creation of 132 net new jobs since 2015, Monroe is thriving once again. By the end of 2019 alone, there has been the renovation of seven historic buildings, the opening of six new restaurants, two brewery announcements, and the start of numerous construction projects that will bring a total private investment of over $20 million into downtown. The calendar of downtown events attracts close to 50,000 visitors annually.

The Georgia Downtown Association named Monroe Best Transformation, Downtown of the Year 2019.