Friday, September 16, 2011
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City officials want to destroy the dilapidated Heritage House on Oglethorpe Boulevard, while the owners want to restore the structure.
ALBANY 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.
Yes, bring it down
No, it can be saved
Yes, but only if my tax dollars don't pay for it
I don't care.
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.