'New' New Albany attracting visitors and dollars - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

'New' New Albany attracting visitors and dollars

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Amanda Gibson Amanda Gibson

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Several years ago, if you spent the day in downtown New Albany, you wouldn't have much to do. Store fronts were empty and there were only a few restaurants.

Now in 2013 it looks like a different place. The city's redevelopment investment is working. It began with the new YMCA five years ago and has taken off from there.

Across the Ohio River from Louisville, the sleepy town of New Albany isn't so sleepy anymore.

People are dining al fresco, young families are hanging out enjoying the summer concert series in the brand new Bicentennial Park and they're enjoying a slew of new restaurants and stores.

Hoosier Amanda Gibson was weighing where to open her unique clothing and home accessories store "Dress and Dwell."

She said, "It's been a great decision."

Seeing New Albany come back to life, Gibson wanted to be part of it and Spring Street it was.

Now, she's thrilled to keep seeing new customers including many Louisvillians. "They (customers trying out New Albany) want a destination," she said, "They want to walk around a downtown area to different shops and restaurants and you really can do that here in New Albany."

Customer Sally Hughes explained, "I grew up in southern Indiana and you always had to across the bridge to find what you wanted and now they're coming to New Albany and it's exciting to see that."

Missouri vacationer Lester Cravitz is staying in Louisville, but he found New Albany by accident and fell in love with the River City Winery and the New Albanian Brewing Company. "This is the third night in a row that we've come down here," Cravitz said.

Commercial realtor Mike Kopp explained, it's not about the malls anymore. He said he's sold more than 30 buildings downtown during the redevelopment and saw a lot of merchants move in. "We've had about 82 businesses over the last five years."

On holiday, Nate Criss and his family went to Holiday World, but the music lovers are in town for the bands in the park. " With things like this, you don't have to go to a nightclub or you don't have to a bar and you can bring the whole family."

Besides the new summer concert series, several art events and farmer's markets are also planned for the summer months.

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