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Details emerge on Heritage demolition deal

City commissioners voted Tuesday to buy the former Heritage House property from Oxford Construction once its been leveled.

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 — The final arrangement between Albany city leaders and officials with Oxford Construction Co. show that the city has agreed to pay $1.1 million to have the former Heritage House hotel razed and transferred into its possession.

The City Commission voted 5-0-1, with Mayor Dorothy Hubbard abstaining and Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff absent, to enter into an arrangement with Oxford to ultimately obtain the Heritage House property.

Documents obtained by The Herald Wednesday show that Oxford has agreed to essentially buy the property, remove any asbestos present and demolish the former hotel and three adjacent houses formerly owned by the current Heritage House owner. Once demolition is completed, Oxford will transfer ownership to the city of Albany.

The complete price tag for purchase and demolition is $1.1 million, the agreement states. Oxford also has until June 6 to begin demolition, according to the paperwork.

The road to Tuesday’s vote was a long one with twists and turns.

The city has twice had to take the owners to court in an effort to get court-ordered demolition permits, which it now has. Last year, a jury ruled that the property “had no value” and was a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.

But it wasn’t until owner Romeo Comeau decided not to appeal a Superior Court decision to tear the property down that the city got the go-ahead to demolish the structure.

Since that time, City Manager James Taylor says that he’s been working to find a viable option to tear the building down quickly but in a way that’s financially feasible for taxpayers.

“Given the circumstances, this is the best deal we could negotiate,” Taylor said following Tuesday’s vote. “We’re trying to get it down as quickly as we can, as cheaply as we can.”

Taylor said that Oxford had proven itself with demolition of the Pritchett Ford building — a blighted structure on Slappey Boulevard that had stood for years and eventually came down when Oxford negotiated terms with the bank that was in possession of the building.

Comments

TrixibelleBento 2 years ago

Good work between Oxford and the City. Oxford did a great job on the Pritchett property. Looks great now. Hope that the HH will look the same way soon.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

So this means Oxford has to buy the property from Greenbrier so the work can begin? Capitol City owns the houses behind on Highland obtained from Romeo Comeau on a foreclosure . I hope the city has no plan to bail them out with a purchase to add to our new Heritage House land--as rumors were floating on a few months ago.

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VietVet1 2 years ago

So, that means Romeo Comeau walks away with money in his pocket and the taxpayer pay to have the HH demolished? Sure sounds like another Albany deal to me.

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darnette0101 2 years ago

Dang! Sounds like Greenbrier is making out. I need to own a blighted building so the city will pay me so they can fix it up!

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

I have a lot of respect for Oxford and pretty sure they're an above board company otherwise I'd say this deal smells fishey, something just does'nt sound right here BUT don't get mad at me for feeling this way, after all this is the Abany City Commission and they are well know for pulling some "doozies" off the taxpayers.

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VietVet1 2 years ago

Why don't they put all the $$ for folks to see. "The complete price tag for purchase and demolition is $1.1 million" What would the property be worth after the owner PAID to clean it up? So that means any other delapitated buildings in town the Albany City Commission will pay to purchase it before demolition? I know Albany can add 2 plus 2 and get anything but 4.

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

This is no longer "prime property" and with its location it never will be again so I say value @ $ 125/150K cleaned up and thats being generous. Think about how much property you could buy here in Albany for $1.1 million and this is a small area we're talking about. This is taxpayer money being spent and not ever coming back to the taxpayers so thats why I say something smells fishey but time will tell !

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Why not just tell the citizens of Albany that the Heritage House was insulated with Marijuana? They'd have it demolished and smoked up in about 48 hours and for free! These decision makers don't have a creative bone in their body!

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