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The Levee breaks into downtown

By   /   July 13, 2011  /   Comments

The Levee President Vince Detorre (foreground) and CEO Blake Cook are moving their growing business Northwest Albany to downtown.

MUSIC  AND MEDIA COMPANY GROWING, RELOCATING

Staff reports

Blake Cook calls it a synergistic relocation.

Aaron Blair calls it “a huge deal for downtown.”

Whatever you call it, The Levee Creative Group – an emerging music and media company – is moving from Northwest Albany to downtown.

“We saw the momentum that was happening down there and kind of wanted to jump on that train,” said the company’s  CEO, Blake Cook.

The company will move its music component –which includes lessons and a recording studio – in August from Dawson Road to 100 Pine Ave., near Front Street and across from the Flint RiverQuarium . The company’s second and rapidly expanding niche – video production – also will be moved downtown to a nearby, yet-to-be-determined location, Cook said.

“In our original business plan, we wanted The Levee to be more of a musical hub,” Cook said. “Downtown’s a better, more central location. We feel like we’ll be able to give back more musically from that location.

“The RiverQuarium is such a buzzword in this town that I think people will know exactly where that space is.”

The new location, which once was the RiverQuarium’s administrative office, has about 1,500 square feet of space that is ideally divided and won’t take much renovation, Cook said.

“We’ll have to do some cosmetic stuff to get it rolling, that’s all,” Cook said.

The Levee, which has 10-12 employees and music instructors, has steadily grown since it opened in 2008 as music studio and marketing company into a fully operating production business that  has produced more than 50 television commercials and music videos. Moe’s Southwest Grille, Albany State University, Drawdy Roofing, Lincoln of Albany and Loco’s are among The Levee’s  clients.

Blair, the downtown manager, said The Levee is a perfect fit for downtown, and vice versa, and that it complements the broad variety of other businesses that have recently opened or relocated downtown.

Other businesses to open downtown over the past year are Global Essence, Aikido School of Martial Arts, Verge, Farm Market, General Store, Nana’s Ice Cream, Gabe’s, Diva’s Closet, Ethnic Shyne Hair Salon, Jackson Signing, DanielTitus.com, and Heritage Center-CAN Training.

On the horizon downtown are two restaurants – The Pizza Shoppe and Shuckers Oyster Bar – and a new Home Run Foods, which broke recently broke ground on West Oglethorpe Boulevard.

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