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Oxford to tear down Heritage House (update)

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.

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.

(Update) 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.

Comments

Cartman 2 years, 5 months ago

Well at least they spent the money locally.

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LuLu 2 years, 5 months ago

What? Pay Oxford to buy it?

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

Man, I would tear it down for half that amount!

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dingleberry 2 years, 5 months ago

Good show but scary since no mention of the cost. Is this an open ended sole source contract? Tear it down and send us a bill of your choosing?

If Greenbrier still "owns" the building, how can the city be the "owner" to transfer property this property? Sounds like something going on we don't know about--but should. And while you are at it, why not clean up the property on Highland that was to be part of the original plan for housing? Oh, that's right, Capitol City owns that property so the city can't do it, right? And they won't do it, right?

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river_rat_31 2 years, 5 months ago

Brokering a Deal with Oxford behind closed doors. Is that legal? We need more facts. Is the City paying Oxford to buy the property and also paying them to demo it? I thought anything done with tax money had to be bid out to the public? This seems mighty shady!

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Cartman 2 years, 5 months ago

I like that picture. They should have either put a "Welcome to Albany" sign on the roof or filmed a sequel to Blackhawk Down there. It resembles Mogadishu.

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BettyBowTie 2 years, 4 months ago

Doesn't anyone wonder WHY Oxford always wins the bids, even when they are NOT the lowest??? Sniff sniff...something stinks.

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