Is the end in sight? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Is the end in sight?

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William Evans rides by the Old Heritage House several times a day. William Evans rides by the Old Heritage House several times a day.
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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  After years of inaction by its owners, the Heritage House hotel may finally be torn down. The Albany City Commission voted Tuesday morning to bring the owners to court to force them to take action on the blighted property.   

If they can't, the city may take over and tear the building down.

The city of Albany already has estimates on what it will take to remove asbestos and tear down the building, and it's a lot, up to $1.6 Million.

The owners may not be able to foot the bill and the city may have to pay the price, but some say it's worth every penny to wipe out the long standing eyesore.

The walls may finally come tumbling down.  "Ah, that'll be great. That will be a relief," said City Commissioner Bob Langstaff, Jr.

A relief to the city commission which has fought this building for too long now. "It's a travesty that it's been there as long as it has been."

William Evans rides by the Old Heritage House several times a day.

"They need to do something with it. I mean, it's a waste of space."

But it hasn't always been. "I remember when it was a thriving hotel. I used to come here and eat," Evans said.

Trash litters the ground in front of what used to be one of Albany's crown jewels. Now, people have no problem throwing their trash in front of what is now one of Albany's biggest eyesores."

He's not sure what the future holds for the property, but he hopes it won't be this building.

"I know it needs to come down," said Evans.

And in short order. "The sooner the better," said Langstaff.

To better the view on one of Albany's busiest roads. The city attorney says moving forward with abatement action will happen quickly.

He expects the matter to be before a judge within the next 30 to 90 days.

While the city begins the abatement process, they'll also try to negotiate with the property owners to have them donate or sell the property to the city.

By taking ownership of the property, the city will have more oversight as to what happens at the site in the future.

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