ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A move by the city of Albany to demolish a fire-damaged business on North Slappey Boulevard is moving forward.
A court summons is now stapled to the door of what remains of The Rising Phoenix. City leaders have put the owner on notice that they are proceeding with the case, and seeking an order to demolish the building.
The case is scheduled for court on July 27, along with 9 other cases that are part of the city's larger Flight the Blight program.
Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter says the demolition of the burned shell has been prioritized because it's a heavily fire damaged property.
On March 30, investigators determined an electrical short sparked a heavy fire that destroyed most of the building. In June, a second blaze ripped through what was left. Investigators suspect that fire was intentionally set.
Carter says the building is now too far gone to be rehabbed and presents too many concerns to be left standing.
"So currently it's in a state because its on a major thoroughfare, it's an eyesore, it's in a blighted condition and it's unsafe. People may wander into it and could get hurt," said Carter.
The city has reached out to the owner, but Carter says she's told them she's unable to proceed with demolition.
"They've expressed that they just don't have the resources, and there was no insurance on the property and if that bears out true in court, then I feel pretty certain that the judge will enter an order for us to go ahead and demolish this structure," Carter said.
If that does happen, the city hopes to have the building demolished within a few months.