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City settles with Albany Heights owners

The city of Albany announced a settlement in lieu of foreclosure on the Albany Heights assisted-living facility on Pine Avenue after the Albany City Commission’s work session Tuesday morning.

The city of Albany announced a settlement in lieu of foreclosure on the Albany Heights assisted-living facility on Pine Avenue after the Albany City Commission’s work session Tuesday morning.

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis announced just after noon Tuesday that the city has settled its lawsuit over more than $2.1 million in unpaid federal loans it said was owed by the owners of the Albany Heights assisted-living facility.

After a lengthy executive session that followed Tuesday's Albany City Commission work session, Davis announced that the city had accepted a deed and $110,000 in cash in lieu of foreclosure on the 249 Pine Ave. property.

"The property owners (Connecticut-based Albany Ventures LLC) had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and this settlement dismisses that action," Davis said after making the announcement. "This is probably the best the city could hope for under the circumstances."

The city's action against the Albany Heights owners, which was filed in October 2012, dates to 1997, when Albany Ventures received $2.1 million in Community and Economic Development-approved Community Development Block Grant funding. Court documents show that the owners claimed to have made periodic interest payments required under their agreement with the city, which they said made the city's foreclosure action unjust.

But Albany attorney Sam Engram, who contracted with the city to handle the foreclosure proceedings against Albany Ventures, said the company had not kept its part of an agreement, failing to repay the Housing and Urban Development-generated CDBG funds and to file required reports and financial statements.

The city announced its intention to sell the property on the courthouse steps last year, but Albany Ventures received a temporary restraining order halting the sale.

City Manager James Taylor said Tuesday the city was not "anxious to own more real estate," but he expressed optimism that the Albany Heights property could become a key component of ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts.

"Based on the conversations I've had with developers who've expressed interest in that property, it could have a positive impact on our development efforts," Taylor said. "We've been looking to add the residential element to downtown, and there seems to be a great deal of interest in the potential that the Albany Heights property offers."

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said she is concerned about the mostly elderly residents currently living in the apartments, but she said the city would work with them to make sure they have suitable accommodations.

"Those tenants are my main concern right now," Hubbard said. "We could possibly help move them if that's what they want or find a way to incorporate their (living) arrangements into the repurposing of the apartments. Right now, we're staying optimistic and looking at this as a potential good opportunity for the city. But like so often happens, this is something else that was dumped on us, so we're going to make the best of the situation."

Taylor later said that the city has, by law, an obligation to provide adequate housing for the residents.

"We're obligated to take care of those folks, and we want to," the city manager said. "It may be that some will want to relocate, in which we'll help them. There's a lot of work that needs to be done to that place, and it may not be the most comfortable place to live while the work is going on.

"But whatever we need to do, we're going to make sure the citizens living there are taken care of."

Comments

Sister_Ruby_Two 11 months ago

Carnage continues unabated...........

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Yep borrow a bunch of money with money guaranteed to buy or develop housing, milk out most of the money and then file bankruptcy and give a dead cow back to the City of Albany.

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Yep, bloated, belly up with feet and teats flailing in the air. One of many such future offerings as properties acquired as a result of loans decay.

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I wish I could think of the city as a dumb Sucker in these deals gone bad. The City has done this so much that its like they are part of it from the start.

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stc1993 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Man you know they are getting kickbacks on these deals. Have you ever seen a politician that wasn't a crook?

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Sister_Ruby_Two 10 months, 4 weeks ago

How much was owed versus pile of crap property and $110,000? Can we get some news reporting up in here?

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whattheheck 10 months, 4 weeks ago

It is likely most of the entire $2.1 million was still owed since it sounds like only interest had been paid, along the lines of Cutliff, but you won't be told, Taylor had said the city would only take it back if there were no residents in building. Obviously this has changed. As I understand it, nothing had been paid for years as the owners sucked up the subsidized rent payments from the feds and tenants.. I have been told the property is in bad shape so it seems we have another "ward of the city". And it will be hard for the city to evict those who don't want to go so it can be converted to another fiasco--uptown residential units.

DCED and it loans are a great big train wreck.

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Hey I want a new crew cab diesel pickup, maybe the City will Co-sign the bank note. That way I can drive it for a year or two and when it starts needing repairs I can just drive it downtown and give the City Mgr the keys and the renaining payment coupons.

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Apply for a $100,000 business loan through the city and watch the rainmaker at work. But there won't be coupons since repayment is not intended.

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WeAreThey 10 months, 4 weeks ago

"(The apartment owners)" ????? Who are they? This is public money being spent, bankruptcy is a public event, so why the BIG SECRET? Obviously Nathan Davis doesn't have any qualms about telling who defaulted on their debts. Why has the Herald purposely omitted the name of the organization or individuals whose collective rears we have just bailed out? So they can have a better chance at coming back and doing it again?

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lknighton 10 months, 4 weeks ago

If the Herald would go back and do their research, they would see that the original deal from the beginning was aimed to cost the city. Rudy Goddard who was at the helm of the DCED at the time allowed the city to enther into an agreement with his son being one of the partners. Check the records!!

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Uh, I don't think your suggestion will fly until all pigs fly first. Or, maybe it's when the moon tumbles from the sky or the sands of Iwo Jima are counted. Anyway, not in the cards. lknighton!,

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

If Dorothy is so concerned then she is the Mayor and effectively she is the new manager of the units. She needs to give each and every resident that the City just inherited her City office and City cell numbers and her home phone. They can call her for leaky faucets and plumbing issues.

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truthsayer 10 months, 4 weeks ago

You can bet it was a friend or family member of one of these people on the board or has been on the board. This stuff continues even with all the bad loans they have given people time and time again just for them to say ''I can't pay, deal with it''.

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lknighton 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree with your response as well. As i said in a previous reply, Rudy Goddard who was DCED director at the time allowed this deal to go through because his son was one of the partners at the time. As a matter of fact, if you get a list of all of the people that received loans at this time you will see that most of the loans were to friends and family. There were a number of loans that were given during this time that had gone 12-18 months without paying anything. June Bug plaza was one of them.

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Yes June Bug lost a small store he operated during the flood of 94. After the city DCED got thru "Helping" him rebuild he owed several hundred thousand $$$. He built a small shopping center and as I understand could not make the payments and eventually lost it. That's how DCED helps. They throw large amounts of loan dollars at certain people.

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chinaberry25 10 months, 4 weeks ago

No, June Bug never made a payment and sold it to some foreigners for a big profit and they took over the loan. Came out smelling like a rose. Do not know why it never made any money because all of the places were rented. Haha! Not like the place past the airport. A strip mall with no vendors. Wonder who financed that fiasco? A foreclosure should automatically take over the renters and get their rent from the get go.

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

On the place past the airport, we lost $100,000. Surprised?

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RedEric 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Good grief! This is the result of only 47% of the people paying income taxes. The founders wanted to make property ownership the requirement in order to vote. They wimped out and Ben Franklin warned they would vote themselves free beer. This is free beer. These people have no respect for money they did not earn. The sleeping giant is awakening. Moochers, be very afraid.

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Abytaxpayer 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Just another wise investment with a great return for the taxpayers....And now EDC is skimming off MEAG funds too....

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whattheheck 10 months, 4 weeks ago

And let's not forget sports fans, the city itself already owns over 1,200 units of housing, in addition to what the Albany Housing Authority owns in its name. Although the city will tell you most of the unit involve federal rather than local money, I would bet the chastity belt there is local money involved we aren't told about, hidden within the colon of the budget. Of course you won't be told about it since you are only told what the city gives the Herald.

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

At the same time this evolving story popped up months ago, the foreclosure on L'Jua's Restaurant, another gem of a loan gone bad, was reported. We were trying to get our $100,000 back plus the $100,000 note bought from Capitol City Bank (where John Hayes is a VP). Did we do this or did the bankruptcy Woods filed preclude us seeing a dime?

Have we heard about where the $100,000 loan made to McKinley Drake to buy the now-closed Aunt Fannie's stands? Our DCED loans keep on going bad and one can only wonder how we make such poor decisions. But on the subject of bad decisions, when are we going to make another bad decision on Cutliff's apartments and its souring loan?

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Sister_Ruby_Two 10 months, 4 weeks ago

It's very simple. People translate the word "loan" as "gift" and they never have any intention to pay the money back. They know clueless clowns when they see them.

Now, if a few folks would go to jail after being found guilty of FRAUD........that might change things.

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dingleberry 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I would like to get a listing of accounts receivable on city loans. I don't think we are vigorous in trying to make collections. Who is interested in fraud? We can't even collect on school lunches!

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bigbob 10 months, 4 weeks ago

This city keeps showing it's stupidity. The people keep b-ing & complaining about the same ole, same ole & then next election they will elect the same fools again & expect a different result. Stupid is as stupid does.

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Amazed2 10 months, 4 weeks ago

If you have a bad financial history and no collateral youare well qualified for $100,000 loan from the City. After all surely a Preacher will pay back $100,000 dollars for a hole in the wall diner. Wouldn't He?? Please say yes?? Cause we gave him a $100,000 to hire some ladies to cook fried chicken, mashed tatters and cream corn.

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