DDA moves forward with plans for 787 College Drive despite HPC comments

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By Nick Nunn

Staff Writer

During the meeting of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) on July 25, the DDA showed its intention to continue with the collaboration with I.V. Henry and Leon Peters to move the building at 787 College Drive to the Canaan area of Madison.

Despite comments by the Historic Preservation Committee (HPC), which stated at the July 9 meeting that it would prefer that the building remain where it is, the DDA made the first step in the plan to relocate the building by voting to approve a bid on asbestos removal at the property.

After the asbestos abatement at 787 College Drive is complete, I.V. Henry and Leon Peters will pay to move the building to its new location, as well as covering the costs of any necessary demolition or clean-up on the lot at 787 College Drive, according to City Planner Monica Callahan.

Ben Whidby explained his rationale for going ahead with the plan without the HPC’s blessing.

“Right now, [the house] isn’t generating anything,” said Whidby. “But move it over to Pearl Street, remodel it, put somebody in it, and you get a couple of things: somebody with a roof over their head, and you’ve also created something on the tax records.”

Fred Perriman, who represented the DDA at the last HPC meeting, said that he would prefer the house be “where it will be used.”

The DDA addressed a snag in the Central of Georgia Depot project during the meeting as well.

Callahan stated that, with the exception of an easement from Norfolk Southern, all of the easements have been secured for the depot, and the DDA has applied for utility services to be routed under the railroad track.

However, the DDA is waiting on Georgia Power to take down the power poles surrounding the building before it can be moved.

The DDA is also taking bids until Aug. 8 on building a replacement building near the current site of the Central of Georgia Depot.

Callahan also stated that the budget for the project, which was originally $160,000, has now been increased to a little more than $180,000, but that increase in the budget reflects the revised plans, which also include right-of-way improvements.

Progress on the Gilmore House project in the Canaan area of Madison is underway, but there are a couple of “kinks” that still need to be worked out, according to Callahan.

The Initial Project Assessment (IPA) for the Redevelopment Fund Grant that was acquired for the Gilmore House needs to be “revised based on preliminary feedback,” said Callahan.

Fred Perriman stated that there is progress with the project, and that he expects that the future occupants of the building may be able to begin moving in next spring.

During a report on The Anchorage mixed-residential development proposed by Sandy Sanford, Callahan stated that the development agreement for The Anchorage must be submitted to the City of Madison Mayor and Council for a vote now that The Anchorage property received an approval of their zoning change request by the Morgan County Planning Commission.

According to Monica Callahan, Sanford intends to build up to three units per year in the Anchorage development, but it is not clear now whether Sanford intends to sell or lease the units.

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