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City of Alpharetta to knock down large house

Would make way for power lines

This city-owned house will cost more than $200,000 to improve for public use. The city plans to knock it down to make room for power lines. JONATHAN COPSEY. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2013
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – A home sitting on city-owned property near the future site of the City Center, has little value either for the city or for a business, a new report claims. The city chose to demolish it at a Jan. 7 meeting.

The home, which formerly held a Hometown Mortgage business along the former route of Haynes Bridge Road, has little feasible use to the city. Compiled by Mike Hall, senior vice president of project and development services for city consultants Jones Lang LaSalle, the report suggests that bringing the large white home up to code for use would be prohibitively expensive.

"One of the biggest challenges for converting the house to commercial use, especially retail or restaurant, is lack of ADA accessibility," reads the report to City Manager Bob Regus.

A handicap ramp exists in the rear of the house, but it does not meet ADA requirements.

"Significant modifications" would have to be made to bring the house up to code. Small rooms and narrow staircases make converting the home difficult and public accessibility to those areas would present an expensive challenge.

"It is highly doubtful that the functional obsolescence could be solved without major demolition and reconstruction," the report states.

The report suggests the costs to improve the HVAC and additional small changes would run about $100,000. This does not include the costs of ADA compliance, parking improvements, energy efficiency or code changes for the stairways and restrooms, which could cost an additional $100,000.

While there would be plenty of parking for an office use, there is not enough for a retail or restaurant use.

In addition, the power lines to be installed for City Center would impede on the market value of the property.

The city paid about $160,000 for the land.

At their Jan. 7 meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to demolish it.

"I've liked that house for a lot of years," said Councilmember Donald Mitchell, "but some of the value of that property is diminished with the road 10 feet from it."

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