The Albany City Commission voted Tuesday to hire Oxford Construction Co. to demolish the dilapidated site of the former Heritage House Hotel in downtown Albany.
ALBANY, Ga. — Promise kept.
The Albany City Commission voted 5-0-1 to tear down what is arguably the city’s most blighted eyesore in a deal brokered with Oxford Construction Co.
The vote came with no discussion following roughly 30 minutes of a closed-door discussion with City Attorney Nathan Davis.
City Manager James Taylor said that the arrangement struck will allow Oxford to purchase the Heritage House and tear it down in exchange for the company returning ownership to the city of Albany once it’s cleared.
“Given the circumstances, this is the best deal we could negotiate,” Taylor said. “We’re trying to get it down as quickly as we can, as cheaply as we can.”
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, who campaigned vigorously to fight blight and who vowed to bring the structure to the ground, abstained from voting on the matter Tuesday because the principals of Oxford Construction had contributed to her mayoral campaign, she said.
“I didn’t want anyone to think that there were things going on here because they gave to my campaign,” Hubbard said, when asked why she abstained. “But I’m glad it’s coming down. It’s been up entirely too long.”
Ward V Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Langstaff was absent from the meeting.
According to a draft agreement between the city and Oxford, the construction company has until June 6 to acquire the property and begin demolition, with work to be completed by September.
Oxford successfully razed the former Pritchett Ford property on North Slappey Boulevard, which had been a blight on a budding portion of Albany for years.