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Heritage House trial set for September 19

The former Heritage House hotel is at the center of a legal battle between the city commission, who wants to tear it down, and its owners who want to rehabilitate it.

The former Heritage House hotel is at the center of a legal battle between the city commission, who wants to tear it down, and its owners who want to rehabilitate it.

Reader poll

What should happen next to the Heritage House?

  • The owners should be forced to either demolish it or repair it within a certain number of days. 70%
  • The city should be allowed to step in and demolish it. 30%
  • Nothing 0%

10 total votes.

ALBANY — The legal showdown between the city of Albany and the owners of a dilapidated hotel on East Oglethorpe Boulevard has been set for September 19 at the Dougherty County Courthouse.

Greenbriar LLC., owner of the Heritage House hotel, is appealing a March 1 ruling by Chief Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver that determined the hotel was a threat to safety and welfare of the public and ordered it demolished.

The city of Albany is pushing for the structure to be brought down either by the owners or by the city. City commissioners have repeatedly called for the structure to be demolished and seem willing to fork over the $900,000 to $1.2 million it would cost to bring the structure to the ground.

Once Weaver handed down his order, Greenbriar attorney Alex Kaplan asked for 270 days to demolish the property. Weaver opted instead for 121 days, after which the city will be allowed to move in and demolish the property and put a lien for the cost of demolition against Greenbriar.

In addition to the court proceedings, the property is also behind on its property taxes.

According to the Dougherty County Tax Department, the owners have failed to pay more than $14,000 in back property taxes, fees, and penalties on the property.

The hotel went up for auction earlier this month, but there were no bidders, so the property stays in Greenbriar’s possession while the bill continues to grow.