August 31, 2015
VALDOSTA — Several businesses are moving downtown, and according to Valdosta Main Street, more businesses are set to arrive.
RISE Real Estate, formerly known as Ambling University Development Group, will be moving into the McCrory building on Patterson Street, while Red Door Records is returning downtown with plenty of vinyl and a new take on cinema. Ellen Hill, Valdosta Main Street director, said these projects, and others in progress, represent a high point in development.
“I think it’s an upswing in development right now,” Hill said. “It’s always a moving thing, development in downtown. You’ll have a really busy season, and then it’ll kind of be in a lull. I think we’re seeing that upswing right now. Things are starting to move, and it’s really a good sign for us, and we’re very excited about it. People are ready to start moving on these projects.”
Hill said there are other projects in development but could not go into details about them.
Greg Blais, RISE president, said his company’s relocation coincides with the recent rebranding of the company. “We’ve been located in the business park off Norman Drive for the last 20 years,” Blais said.
“We’ve recently rebranded our company to RISE this June, and as part of that rebranding, we have made the decision to relocate offices. “Seeking a place to relocate to, downtown became very attractive to us. By the end of this calendar year, we will call a downtown location, the McCrory Building, home.”
Blais said RISE will receive tax credits for operating in a historic building. “We’re able to receive historic tax credits both from federal and state, and we’ll be taking advantage of those incentive opportunities during our reconstruction and move,” he said.
For Jessica Ganas, owner of Red Door Records, the move downtown is a move home.
“I’ve moved around to a few locations, and they’ve all been good,” Ganas said.
“For one, I really miss downtown for the historic aspect and the visual part of being downtown.”
Ganas said that Red Door is moving downtown to accommodate the opening of Cinema Downtown, a 40-seat movie theatre. “It will offer a place for a few different things. It will be an outlet for anything locally produced and filmed. It will be a spot for smaller independent films that the larger theatre may not pick up due to seating capacity. We’re also going to play a variety of everything: The classics. The ‘70s, the ‘80s, the ‘90s,” Ganas said. “Throw in all the greats from childhood, as well as some current stuff. It’ll be a mix of everything.” The move will give Red Door a space four times larger than its current location off of Baytree Road.
Joe Adgie is a reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times.
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