A bakery is what’s most wanted in downtown Albany, according to the results of an informal, online survey conducted last month by the Albany Downtown Association.
“Customers also are looking for more retail choices,” said Oscar Hult, the executive director of the ADA. “A lot of the results have surfaced before, but it was interesting to see what people didn’t want, and that was a business like a dollar store.”
There also wasn’t a lot of support for a high-end antique store.
Sixty-two people filled out a survey posted on the ADA Facebook page.
“That number was more than I expected because people don’t like to stop and fill out surveys,” he said.
Most of the respondents live in south Albany, followed by west Albany, the Monteith Historic District, the Hackleman Historic District, and a tie between North Albany and the Knox Butte area.
People who responded from another city tied with west Albany, and Hult said no one said they lived downtown.
After a bakery the most popular requests were for a grocery store, an ice cream shop, an art gallery and more gift shops.
“Other suggestions that scored well were a shoe shop and a card and stationery store,” he said. “Others wanted book and craft stores.”
People were split pretty evenly on whether shops being closed on Sunday was a problem or not, but the survey “clearly showed that they think shops should be open on Saturdays and later than 5 p.m. on weekdays,” Hult said.
When asked what changes should be made to attract more customers to downtown, the answers were more types of retail shops, a grocery store and getting the Albany Historic Carousel running.
The vast number of survey respondents were in their 50s, followed by those in their 30s and then those in their 40s.
Most were working adults, he said.
The results will be turned over to the ADA’s economic development committee.
“Hopefully, we can use the information to attract these types of businesses to downtown,” Hult said.
Results of the survey also will be shared at a “brain-storming session” where participants will be encouraged to weigh in on what they want to see open in downtown.
The session starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in the available storefront next to the Equine Exchange in the Flinn Block, 222 First Ave. W. The date was incorrect in the recent ADA newsletter.
Refreshments will be served.
To reserve a spot, call the ADA at 541-928-2469 or email email@example.com.