Brian Culberson, left, attempts a turn on his skateboard as J.D. Wood looks on in this Oct. 2008 file photo taken at the downtown Albany Skate Park at 135 College Drive. A local fraternity chapter has made a request to lease the property.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Businessman Lane Rosen said his first two attempts to lease or buy the downtown skate park that is under the management of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority were thwarted by ADICA and city officials.
Now Rosen has an opportunity to determine if the third time is the charm.
ADICA President Aaron Blair said Thursday the development authority's board had decided in closed session at its Wednesday meeting to entertain bids to purchase the skate park property at 125 College Drive.
"We haven't set a timetable or a date yet, but the board voted to accept closed bids on that property to see if there is interest in acquiring it," Blair said. "If someone wants to buy that property for some other purpose, like a restaurant, we would probably rebuild the skate park at another location.
"But it would still be located downtown."
Rosen, who told The Albany Herald recently that he had made previous attempts to buy or lease the skate park but had not been dealt with in good faith by ADICA officials, said Friday he's not sure that he'll make an offer on the skate park property.
"I'm a little skeptical, to be honest with you," Rosen said. "I'm going to think about this, but the bid (on the property) that I made (two years ago) has already been put out there in the paper, so I'd go into any sealed-bid process at a disadvantage.
"My first thought when I heard (from ADICA) is that this could be a trap. I hate to say that, but I have a great deal of mistrust (in city officials) right now. But, yeah, it's something I'm going to think over."
Rosen spoke of his attempts to lease or purchase the skate park after reading a report that a member of a local fraternity had asked ADICA to lease the office building on the skate park property for $5 a year to use as a fraternity headquarters from which to conduct community outreach projects.
Blair and city of Albany Central Services Director Stephen Collier also confirmed Thursday that Kinney Construction Co. did include a certified bid bond in its bid package to renovate and stabilize the historic Albany Theatre on North Jackson Street. Kinney made the apparent lowest responsible bid ($607,777) on the ADICA-sponsored project, but City Attorney Nathan Davis said there was no bid bond in the package he had.
Blair said the bid process had been conducted by the city's procurement office.
"To be fair to Kinney, I want to make it clear that they did include the bid bond in their package," Collier said.
The ADICA board voted not to approve Kinney's bid until specific questions about its bid were answered.