Albany officials looking for owner of abandoned bank

ALBANY, Ga. – This east Albany bank closed down years ago and has sat abandoned with glass broken and overgrowth. Now, one City Commissioner is taking action.

Albany Ward 1 Commissioner, Jon Howard said early Friday afternoon that he and Albany Code Enforcement have been trying to answer one question…

Who exactly owns the property?

“I turned this in as a code violation, several months ago and Code Enforcement have gotten the citation of it. But, we’re having a hard time trying to locate the owner to come and either rehab or demolish the building,” said Jon Howard, Ward 1 Commissioner, City of Albany.

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According to Commissioner Howard, the former SunTrust Bank on South Mock Road closed down more than five years ago…

And, it’s now another eyesore that’s driving business away from Albany.

“It’s a main highway; south mock road. And, not only residents called me, but you don’t want to come to a city like Albany, Georgia and continue to see dilapidated buildings in the area. It gives businesses a bad taste, of coming to Albany. And, we got so many dilapidated houses and buildings that need to be repaired,” said Commissioner Howard.

Howard recently brought about changes to another major dilapidated property, Roses’ on East Oglethorpe Boulevard, which will undergo demolition.

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But, finding out who owns this old bank is going to be another problem before anything can be done to the property.

“As the City Attorney will tell you, when real estate and banks rent these buildings and shopping center, they sign like a long-term lease on the building and all of that. So, what he’s going to go do is go back through the deed to see who owns this piece of property,” said Commissioner Howard.

And, once they find out just who owns this abandoned bank, they’re giving him one of two options…

“The next step will be that they will send a certified letter to the owner of this building. That his property is in violation of the city code and he’s going to be given a couple of choices: either renovate it or demolish it,” said Commissioner Howard.

As Commissioner Howard and Code Enforcement continue their search to find the property owner for this former bank, they want him to know it’s time to make a decision.

Commissioner Howard and Code Enforcement recently got the city to approve the demolition of Roses’ on East Oglethorpe Boulevard due to unsafe conditions inside the building.

Brian Roche reporting.

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