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Heritage House trial set to start Monday

City officials are trying to convince the courts that the structure should be torn down while the owners feel it can be revitalized.

City officials want to destroy the dilapidated Heritage House on Oglethorpe Boulevard, while the owners want to restore the structure.

City officials want to destroy the dilapidated Heritage House on Oglethorpe Boulevard, while the owners want to restore the structure.

Albany The owners of the Heritage House and the attorneys for the city of Albany will square off in court Monday over whether the dilapidated structure should be razed, officials say.

The city commission wants the structure torn down, saying that it's a threat to public safety and welfare and that the owners have been given enough time to bring it up to code or revitalize the structure.

The owners, on the other hand, are arguing that the building can be saved and want Judge Stephen Goss to overturn Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver's previous order demanding the structure be brought down within a certain time period.

Reader poll

Do you think the Heritage House should be demolished?

  • Yes, bring it down 54%
  • No, it can be saved 0%
  • Yes, but only if my tax dollars don't pay for it 46%
  • I don't care. 0%

13 total votes.

Both plans have their supporters and their detractors and the issue has even slithered into the local political discussion as mayoral candidates Dorothy Hubbard — a former city commissioner — is pushing that the structure be demolished while former state representative John White — who is also running for mayor — believes the structure can be transformed into Albany's signature hotel and conference center.

The real issue for both parties is the cost of demolition, given that the building does contain asbestos.

The owners, Greenbrier Holdings, LLC., contend that, despite the dilapidated condition of the building, that the asbestos has not been disturbed which would allow for an easy rehabilitation job on the facility.

If forced to demolish the property, the owners or the city taxpayers are looking at demolition and hazardous waste removal costs that range from $900,000 to $1.2 million based on estimates provided by the city.

Comments

Abytaxpayer 2 years, 7 months ago

JD thanks for the story. Most Albany residents do not realize the real issue is the cost of demolition. The owners are trying not to demo and hoping for some “Free” government money to bail them out. While the city Commissioners know it will cost close to a million to demo with no way to recoup the cost. This is a good example of the Commissioners trying to do what is best for Albany but it is hard for them given the cost. More people should be supporting the Commissioners in this attempt to cleanup Albany’s dominate eyesore. But maybe John White wants to put his money where his mouth is and bank roll the money pit’s transformation. He sounds like a Politician willing to waste tax money at the drop of a hat. Wonder what other great ideas he could come up with if he was to be elected mayor to a city with a budget surplus? Albany voters WAKE UP!

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