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City moves to foreclose on two Albany properties

The city of Albany has begun foreclosing on two local properties: Albany Heights Apartments on Pine Aveune, seen here, and L’Jua’s restaurant on Radium Springs Road.

The city of Albany has begun foreclosing on two local properties: Albany Heights Apartments on Pine Aveune, seen here, and L’Jua’s restaurant on Radium Springs Road.

ALBANY, Ga. — The City of Albany has begun foreclosure proceedings on two Albany properties hoping to collect more than $2.2 million in what it contends are past-due payments.

In two separate legal actions, the city is moving to foreclose on Albany Heights, the downtown assisted-living facility, and L’Jua’s restaurant on Radium Springs Road.

Attorney Sam Engram, who has been contracted by the city to carry out these two legal actions, said that the matters are pending before Dougherty Superior Court. An October 26 hearing has been set to determine if the foreclosure of Albany Heights can continue.

The Albany Heights loan dates back to 1997 when the city’s Community and Economic Development Department granted $2.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to the owner of the building, Albany Ventures, LLC., court documents show.

Between that time and September 2011, the owners of the property contend that they made periodic interest payments as required by the original agreement with the city and that the city is erroneously and unjustly pursuing foreclosure despite that fact.

Engram says that the owners have neglected their financial reporting requirements and have become delinquent on their payments.

“They have not repaid the money and they claim they have, so we have to a hearing to move forward,” Engram said. “It’s our position that they also haven’t furnished various reports and financial statements that they were required to do. “We’ve just gotten tired of it. It’s been a problem from the beginning.”

Engram said that the city intended to sell the property on the courthouse steps on Oct. 2, but that attorneys for the Connecticut-based Albany Ventures, LLC., successfully motioned for a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from moving forward.

The unpaid principal, according to legal documents, is more than $2.1 million for the Albany Heights property.

The other legal action has been filed against Lamos Management, the parent company that owns L’Jua’s restaurant on Radium Springs Road.

According to a legal ad filed in The Albany Herald, the city has successfully transferred a $100,000 security deed from Capitol City Bank on L’Jua’s restaurant on Radium Springs Road.

Engram said that Capitol City Bank was in the first tier lien position on the restaurant and the city bought them out so that it could then foreclose on the property and get its financial interests out of the deal.

The ad doesn’t specify exactly how much was owed to L’Jua’s and for how much.

Engram did say, however, that it was for a straight default of payment for a loan. It is to be sold on the steps of the Dougherty County Courthouse November 6.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

Good Luck to The City of Albany in getting that Big Money back from Nobody!!!!!

Call Obama.......he's still got a few billion left to Give Away prior to the Election.

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dingleberry 1 year, 6 months ago

Ruby, if we can't get money, are there any cars we can repo?

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chinaberry25 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, and what soft money he does not use is his and maybe he will give you a loan since you all just worship him.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

L'JUA? WHAT A IDIOTIC NAME FOR A RESTAURANT. SKY-HIGH PRICES IN AN ECOMICALLY DEPRESSED BLACK CITY. SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HOOD. LOOK AT WHO WAS STUPID TO FUND THIS LAME-BRAIN SCHEME. NOT ANYONE WITH GOOD SENSE.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

LOOK AT THE NAME OF THE MANAGEMENT: LAMOS. L-A-M-E- O-S

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Okay, let's build some more downtown residential facilities since it seems to be so profitable.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 6 months ago

You fought to keep the bar frpm opening at the old hotel by Shackelford Shopping center, but you let this so called Mexican restaurant open right across form ASU and I can bet they served booze. Now look, you have burned the candle at both ends. You lost the money you gave her illegally and you lost the taxes the other place would have made for you. This is very poor business practice and you wonder why you have no money. Glad I no longer live here.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

Albany Heights is taxed. And I might add full of "poor" people that will fall back on the city .

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chinaberry25 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course they will fall back as long as you continue to support them. Close the purse strings and they will find a job.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 6 months ago

After 14 years the Albany Heights owes more than it started out with. This alone shows that they have not been making their payments as they claim. I do not understand why officials can be so stupid! May as well flush money down the toilet. This Albany Heights has also brought crime to downtown Albany by way of stragglers hanging out begging for money. Hate to go to the library down there. Instead of that library being done over, it should be moved away from downtown like Columbus' library. Cordele is trying to make a comeback downtown. They should be a success because they actually have something to work with.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

We let the owner do whatever it wanted, or so it seems. This is the problem with letting public money be used for such projects. Decisions are made and operations are permitted that private money would not tolerate, perpetuating a culture of incompetence and in many cases corruption, So what will we do as a result? Well, would you believe "nothing"?.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

I guess the rumored connections of L.juas owner who sat on a board for downtown development must have some validity??? She got the $50000 facade grant from Buie that she agreed to oay back?? Not aure she ever paid all?? And now we find out the City is toting the note on her resturant????? It was rumored at the time that she was connected to the previous Mayors office

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J.D._Sumner 1 year, 6 months ago

City Attorney says that Mrs. Woods has fully repaid her $50,000 debt to ADICA.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

The District Attorney who had a court approved arrangement in her case, earlier said the same. Since he was accountable for making sure it was done, one would hope this was in fact the case--he has a dog in the fight on this issue.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

The fact that she was loaned $100,000 by the city following on the footsteps of $100,000 loans to Lorenzo Edwards of Stone Mountain for the "Dollar Square" , both losses for the taxpayer, should not be a surprise. There are others too that no one has bothered to tell you about.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

Now if the City just basically Bailed out Capitol Bank for a bad loan supposedly to get them out of way as first lien holdet I have a question. Capital Bank loaned the lady $100,000 so that means the City must have given or loaned het a lot more$$. In banking the 2d tier would not loan out more than First Tier stakeholder Usually no wheres close but seems good ol Albany did and they went back and basically made her bad loan with Capital Bank good. Capital Bank smiles a lot lately the City keeps buying their bad so called loans. The City just bought L,Juas and also bought the bank note for bad DowntownweLoan from Capital Bank.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

I am not sure the bad debt was bought as a direct transaction. It may have come as a "swap off" in the Heritage House deal. In that case, occurring at the same time as the teardown. the city picked up the tab, about $120,000 as I recall, for four pieces of property with blighted houses behind the HH. All were owned by Capitol City. Of course the remaining land was not worth but regardless, Capitol City got the money from Oxford ho passed it on to the city.

A miracle, it seems, Capitol City turned over its rights to another $100,000 note from La Jua's to the city to add to its money in question, now $200,000, within days. .

This possibility was suggested to people who could have checked it out but it was ignored.

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dingleberry 1 year, 6 months ago

I hope the folks in DCED got 'I Love Capitol City!" T-shirts for this set of transactions. Of course things aren't done in a vacuum, so what was Jim Taylor's involvement?

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

Somebody with City must have an agreement with Capital Bank to Bail them out of marginal loans. Heck I make good money have had to jump thru hoops and do doggie tricks just to get financing on a really good deal on a condo. How are these people getting several hundred thousand $$$$ with little or No cash equity?? Obama and Willie must be involved.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

Or so it seems, Amazed. We are also "second fiddle" behind Capitol City on the University Gardens property. Probably more in the wood works people don;t know about. It seems we have a propensity to do dumb and dumber things, not learning from the past or from, and not learning that more care should be given to use of public money.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

I expect that the "owners" of Albany Ventures LLC are riding around town in style. They must be one of the people I see riding in a 7-Series BMW around here costing $140,000.

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J.D._Sumner 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, the court papers were served to people in Connecticut.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

Served on a CT corp with membership unknown, I might add. At one time there were two other groups involved, with non-GA addresses and one of them had a GA member listed (ATL). This thing has changed so much over the last 16 years that no one knows who is really involved at the moment.

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stc1993 1 year, 6 months ago

I looked up Albany Ventures LLC on the sec of state business site. The company was dissolved in July 2007 their registered agent was Susan Bell of Alpharetta GA. So they don't even have a license to do business in GA.

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Duane_Kelley 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you Mr. Sumner for clearing things up for us...sometimes truth gets muddled in lies and speculation.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

No it gets muddled cause of lack of full and acurate info put out by City of Albany. They usually put out just enough info to say they are not hiding something. Just not all the facts get told do people have to speculate.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

Albany could be one if the honestly most profitable City areas in the state if not for all the Scams and City mismanagement and wasting tax dollars on ventures by others gone bad time and time again. The leaders both City and County now consider it a success when they reduce the amount of reserve emergency dollars they have to pull out to meet budget. Someday aint going to be no mo money in cookie jar then you will actually hav to follow a budget.

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dingleberry 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's talk fact for a moment. How much is the city on the hook for with LaJua's? If we "successfully transferred" a $100,000 security deed from Capitol City Bank, did we pay anything to actually buy a better position on this deed we were already getting clipped $100,000 on or did CCB give us something out of the goodness of their heart?

Not mentioned in the article is that LaJua's filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy on 6/1/2012. So now, can we really make a foreclosure as she is allowed to "reorganize"? Since the city is listed twice as a creditor, perhaps she owes more than the $100,000 we started out with which sounds like we paid Capitol City for something somehow.

WG&L is also listed as a creditor owed money so it sounds like we didn't cut off her water when bills weren't paid?, What are we on the hook for with this one and why is WG&L a listed creditor? She owes a number of creditors so after this drags through the court system for years, will we ever see a dime?

There are so many questions and so few answers!

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Outtahere 1 year, 6 months ago

Great facts Dingleberry; now if we could just get some answers!!

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dingleberry 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't expect such answers will be forthcoming since questions will likely not be asked. Albany got another hosing that most people will never know about.

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dingleberry 1 year, 6 months ago

If the city forecloses on Albany Heights, it becomes the owner of another wad of subsidized housing since it is filled with poverty people. And it will lose the $20,000 in taxes for 2012 and perhaps other still owed. It is also buying into the need for a great big chunk of money to renovate a property that has been allowed to deteriorate over the years, so I am told by some who are more familiar with it.

This is a great big pig in a poke that will be eating out of the public trough for a long time to come since it is unlikely any group will take over the newly acquired responsibility. The city needs to be asked where we will go with this whopping big potential liability. Also, they should explain why the venture was allowed to proceed with interest only payments for 15 years as the life was sucked from the property.

The city already is the unfortunate owner of about 1,500 units of housing through the housing authority and itself. It has had to take over property many times over the years on housing sold to individuals and even big projects such as the now-named Nativity units in 2006, later sold to Cutliff. The potential liability the city has on such housing that may have to be acquired, renovated, and resold in the future is sizeable.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

But Albany is well known for its City owned housing. Overall the best in the South. So damm good peoples quit their jobs in rural areas and other cities and MOVE here to take advantage of all the free and reduced $$ programs.

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

How right you are with the influx of poverty. With the very active, copious support system the city ties to the housing, we are the magnet of the south. So we are growing a poverty level than can never be reduced. But, since that is the only segment of Albany growing at the moment, we certainly don't want to rock the boat, do we?

In Oct 2012, about $80,000 in rental assistance payments (Sec 8) were made in Fulton county to 157 landlords. In DoCo, $640,000 went to 1,537 landlords. Kind of cements our claim as "The Good Life City"--good life for those in the growing poverty segment. Perhaps we need a new aka, eh?

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RedEric 1 year, 6 months ago

Just released, welfare costs for 2011 exceeds a trillion dollars. This year will probably be higher. This cannot be sustained. Most of the people here get it. We have to take our country back to one defined by the constitution. Mainly defined as personal responsibility. You are personally responsible for your situation. Charity will be personal

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RedEric 1 year, 6 months ago

Fat fingers. Lack of personal responsibility results in the above and most of the other disgraces in our town.

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stc1993 1 year, 6 months ago

24/7wallstreet 10 poorest cities. We are on the list as the 4th. poorest in the country. I can't believe they have Valdosta poorer than us.

http://247wallst.com/2012/10/04/americas-poorest-cities/3/

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

Lajua's had connections with the previous Mayor' s administration. Yes according to info she did actually pay back the $50,000 dollar Facade Grant Money that she somehow managed to get from the City even though het business location was well outside the zone. Somehow that loan got repaid but nothing else did. Sounds like somebody wanted to be sure there was no investigation into that money. According to one newspaper article a payment was made with a money order That means she bought it with CASH!!

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whattheheck 1 year, 6 months ago

Her options were pay back under the plea deal or do not pass go on the way to jail. So, its pay the 50k knowing you are going to stick it to the city on the 100k. Who knows, maybe we spotted her still another 50k no one told you about.

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Amazed2 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually she probably took money owed back to the City of Albany for the so called legal loans and paid off the $50,000 Facade Grant that she got somehow even though not even in Downtown Our City leaders seem to get Slick Willed a lot. Basically the City go paid with their own money just from a different account. The Lady defaulted on that money but Not the $50,000 she was on the hot seat about. Wow

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