ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The City of Albany wants someone to redevelop and renovate the old New Albany Hotel, now known as Albany Heights.
The City is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Albany Heights property at 249 Pine Avenue.
A bad storm damaged part of the structure in April of 2014. The city took control of the Heights after a public-private consortium operated it for several years, accepting the property in foreclosure in June of 2014. They moved the last 30 residents to other affordable housing in November last year.
In March of 2013, an arson investigator was called in and determined fire that caused the residents to be evacuated was intentionally set. It's the third small fire reported at the high rise apartment that year.
In May of 2013, the city settled a lawsuit over more than $2 million in unpaid federal loans owed by the owners of Albany Heights.
City Attorney Nathan Davis said that the city had accepted a deed and $110,000 in cash in lieu of foreclosure on the 249 Pine Avenue property.
In November of 2014, Anthony King went looking for investors to help turn Albany Heights into high-end one and two bedroom apartments. He presented his plan to ADICA leaders and told them how he believes it could help transform downtown Albany. King hoped to be able to buy it through ADICA, but never came to be.
Throughout the fifties and sixties, The Caravan Room, which gave way to the Hasty House, was a popular eatery on the ground floor of the hotel.
The city wants the building used for multi-family housing, mixed-use residential/retail, or some other adaptive reuse "deemed suitable by and in alignment with the city's overall vision for the redevelopment of downtown," they said in a release Tuesday.
The original 70,000 square foot hotel was built in 1925, and for decades was a fixture in downtown Albany. For many years, WGPC radio had its studio there, until it moved to its Gillionville Road transmitter facility in the early seventies.
It is a six story apartment style building, on half an acre of land.
City officials say that several developers have recently expressed an interest in the "Albany Heights" property and the City is eager to open up the opportunity for them to formally submit their interest through this Request for Proposal (RFP) process.