Heritage House demolition gets put on hold

A sofa leans against one of the interior walls of what is left of the dilapidated Heritage House

It's quite arguably the largest eyesore in Albany. On March first, the municipal court judge Willie Weaver ordered the Heritage House to be demolished in 120 days.

According to tax records, 2010 property taxes for the Heritage House have not been paid--they were due December 20th. The original bill was for $11,627 with now an additional $1,735 in interest, penalties and costs.

"Well of course, there's the 1% interest per month, started December 21st, so every month that's added. After it was 90 days delinquent there was a 10% penalty put on the property," said City Tax Director Denver Hooten.

Add to that a lien on the property in the amount of the taxes. The property was actually scheduled to hit the auction block this August, however, an appeal filed by the owner's attorney changes all of that. Now they're going to have to wait until a judge is assigned to the case and then the judge will decide a date for the trial. The owner, Greenbriar Holdings and Investments, LLC hired Albany attorney Alex Kaplan. In the appeal, which now takes the case to superior court, Kaplan requested a jury trial, however City Attorney Nathan Davis thinks it unnecessary.

"Based on the cost to bring this property, or any property, what's called "into code" versus what is the value now of this structure, if there's a big difference between those two numbers then that's what leads to a demolition and we don't think that's a jury question," said Davis.

It would take between $10 and $16 million to bring the building up to code, and tax records show the fair market value of the property is only a little over $740,000. Fox 31 spoke with Greenbriar's attorney, Alex Kaplan who says he cannot comment at this time and is awaiting a conference with his client on the appeal. Davis meanwhile, is hoping for an early trial date.

In the meantime, it would seem a heritage of dilapidation continues at 732 Oglethorpe Boulevard.