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City-Owned Haynes Bridge Home May Cost Too Much to Fix

Alpharetta bought the former Hometown Mortgage property to make way for a road realignment as part of the City Center project.

A house on property Alpharetta bought to make way for its realignment of Haynes Bridge would cost too much to renovate into offices for the city, so demolition might be in its future.

Alpharetta City Council will hear a report during tonight's City Council meeting at City Hall on the former Hometown Mortgage's functional obsolescence, as a report on the property states.

Stairways are too narrow, many doors and the bathrooms are not up to accessibility requirements. And the existing ramp on the back of the house does not meet current ADA requirements.

A report by Mike Hall of Jones Lang LaSalle, consultant for the city, said that it would cost $100,000 just to improve the HVAC, interior finishes and minor structural upgrades to the house and garage. Bringing the structure up to commercial code, including ADA compliance, parking requirements, and code-required changes to stairways and bathrooms would add another $100,000 to the cost, Hall's report said.

"In general, the house was designed for its purpose of being a house," Hall said in his report. "It is highly doubtful that the functional obsolescence could be solved without major demolition and reconstruction."

The site is adequate to build a new commercial building. Parking is sufficient for office use, but the number of spaces would limit retail and restaurant use to small establishments, the report said.

 

David Cox January 08, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Those numbers seem quite high to me. A brand new top of the line HVAC system for that house should be less than $100,000. This smells fishy to me. Just exactly what was the plan for this property? I could think of many great civic uses for this property. But I guess it just makes sense to just demolish it and build some more commercial space. You want to know why the downtown Roswell area is so attractive? Answer is it made more sense to conserve existing structures and repurpose them in appropriate ways. Why are we so quick to just tear down? I am just saying that it would make more sense to explore other possibilities first.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Mike Hall said Monday night the interior structural changes and HVAC cost would be $50,000-$100,000, based on estimates from an idea to move Community Development Department into it. It's too small for that use. Creating office space would require removing just about everything inside and then rebuilding to current codes. City Administrator Bob Regus said the time crunch with Georgia Power in getting power lines moved to the east side of Haynes Bridge made a decision necessary. Underground utilities would cost $250,000. Routing power lines around the house would cut the property's commercial value and use. A delay in moving some utility poles could cost $75,000. The council voted to demolish the house at a cost not more than $25,000.
Paula M January 08, 2013 at 12:32 PM
David, it would have been nice to see it repurposed as an art center or a garden club center with minimal change to the structure. I've always enjoyed looking at that house as I drive by. I do understand that the power lines need to go in now. That little house will be missed.
Whitney January 08, 2013 at 01:55 PM
So who exactly was it that conned the city into purchasing the property? Sounds like a good ol' boys club deal to me.
David Cox January 08, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Paula, it will be sad to see it go. Alpharetta is in need of more cultural arts.
Rob Forrest January 09, 2013 at 02:13 PM
There are easily a dozen restaurants that would take it over, modify/add on, and open a great quaint spot there... what a shame. Somewhere there is a master plan that shows what this was destined for all along...

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