There is too much destroying of private wealth by the city of Albany's so-called "eyesore policy." They talk of lost revenue, but obviously do not realize when they demolish a real estate structure the value on that site decreases between 60-80 percent. That means the annual taxes on that property also decrease by approximately 60 percent annually.
As a former Realtor and property owner, I see value in all real estate, not "eyesores." The city of Albany had a very good rehabilitation program of loans and grants during the '80s that helped property owners improve their properties. Such programs increased the value of improved properties and subsequently increased tax revenue.
If the city can afford to offer incentives to potential industries, why is it so hawkish about destroying existing properties instead of working with owners to improve them? Public/private ventures would be a better use of resources, even with the former Heritage House motel. Why not assist with improvements? Such joint ventures could possibly yield more than a hundred jobs and millions in hotel, alcohol and ad valorem taxes to the city and county coffers annually.
Our local politicians need to understand the meaning of urban renewal, development, redevelopment, taxation and wealth building. Today there is not a venue in Albany that can accommodate a large group, except the Civic Center.
Good leadership requires people who are willing to learn to implement that learning into action fore the benefit of those they purport to lead. Our city/county leaders are not taking advantage of the expertise of the Planning and Development staff, nor the appraisers in the tax office, to make good, cognitive decisions on critical issues. Too much money is spent on outside consultants. There is a wealth of knowledge locally that could be used, from architects to social and behavioral scientists.
Politicians need to adjust their socioeconomic vision from farsightedness to nearsightedness for local prosperity and growth. There are three institutions of higher learning in the city with experts capable of doing research or coordinating research for any project the city/county governments could or should have need for.