125 Pine Avenue – Downtown Albany, Georgia
The more things change the more they stay the same…
In 1919, Birmingham investor Robert E. McCormack visited Albany and decided that it was the perfect place to open a candy business. Helped by other investors in Birmingham, McCormack started producing sticks of peppermint candy in Albany for his Famous Candy Company. As the company branched out into new lines of hard candy and taffy, Bob McCormack and fellow investor Bob Mills soon bought out the other backers, and in 1924 changed the name of the company to Bobs' Candy Company. (The apostrophe was later dropped.) Bobs moved to a larger facility in downtown Albany in the 1930s. It was one of the few candy companies to remain solvent during the Great Depression.
Just when the economy began to improve in 1940, a natural disaster hit Albany. A tornado tore through the downtown business district on February 10, and one casualty was the Bobs building at 125 Pine Avenue. Not missing a step, the Company pulled together, went to work to rebuild the building from scratch. By August they were back in business and used the expanded new space to take advantage of locally grown peanuts. Bobs started producing peanut-butter crackers and vacuum-packed peanuts. As the company continued to expand along the banks of the Flint River, an opportunity came along to fill a major contract with the Federal Government in support of the Armed Forces by providing food products. Their business flourished, and when the 50s rolled around, Bobs Candy Company was able to introduced numerous innovations that changed the candy world for the better. These innovations included items such as break-proof packaging, moisture-proof candy wrappers, and the Keller Machine, which twisted and cut the company's scrapped bits of stick candy into pieces that could be sold. By 1958, after the company changed its name to Bobs Candies, the Keller machine was perfected and was able to mass produce the popular hook-shaped candy cane that were sold and shipped to places all over the world.
Bobs Candies was a cornerstone of industry in Downtown Albany for decades right at 125 Pine Avenue. As the 60s came into full swing, Bobs purchased a large tract of pineland on Oakridge Drive and built a modern factory to keep up with the huge demand for its many confection candies and treats. This left the former factory warehouse vacant and under utilized for many years. Then Mother's Natures wrath hit Albany again with a 500 year flood event. As bad as it seemed at the time, The Flood of '94 turned out to be a grand opportunity for downtown Albany as well as the old candy factory high on the Bluff along the river bank. As efforts to rebuild Albany started to take shape, it became apparent there was a great need to create a Water Planning Center that could help understand, educate and advocate for the Flint River and to inform the public of the various risks and opportunities that are available. Through the concerted effort of a public/private joint venture comprised of Dougherty County and The University Funding Foundation, an extensive effort was initiated to refurbish the former Bobs Candies Factory into a high-tech, multi-purpose, state of the art office and event center to house the USDA Farm Service Agency, the Cooperative Extensive Service and branches of Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. The second floor housed the newly formed
Georgia Water Policy and Planning Center. After investing multi-million dollars in renovations and updates, the new modern 15,000 square foot facility was opened and became home to a center for education, innovation and economic development for all of Southwest Georgia. Just now celebrating its 20th year in operation, the current tenant roster is still made up of mutual Federal, State and local agencies tasked with promoting, formulating and implementing programs, policy and opportunities to leverage the natural resources of the area into job creation, work force development and world-wide promotion of the many benefits of the extensive fresh water aquifer system. There is an IMAX theater and the Flint Riverquirium right next door. And the Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission calls this address home and does their part to promote the area, create jobs and support existing industry. The little candy factory that was originally conceived with an eye on innovation and built for business is now offering a rare opportunity to the public for full service suites that can support an indivdual work space or an entire company with short term flexible leases. A "Worker's Space" for business so to speak. There is upside here with the soon to be completed Pretoria Fields Brewery just across the street, a River Front Retail district emerging just around the corner on Front Street and coming in the Fall, just one block west, the new high end residential units known as the "Flats at 249". Truly, this property will be the perfect place to work, live and play.
So if you or your business need work space, that offers views of historical Downtown Albany and the Flint River, please give us a call at 229-883-6502 to set up a tour of the open floor plan with huge exposed beams and heart pine floors mixed in with modern technology. Flexiblity and adaptibility are the theme for this worker space right in the heart of the fastest growing area of the MSA Albany region.
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