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School board votes to sell old Davidson building

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:21 PM
Last updated 10:29 PM
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The old Davidson school building on Telfair Street, vacant since 1997, has another suitor interested in replacing the decaying structure with something to put on the county’s tax rolls.

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A Richmond County Board of Education committee voted Tuesday to sell the old Davidson building to JES Holdings LLC. The board will pay to have it torn down.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
A Richmond County Board of Education committee voted Tuesday to sell the old Davidson building to JES Holdings LLC. The board will pay to have it torn down.

The Richmond County Board of Edu­cation’s building committee voted Tuesday to sell the building to JES Holdings LLC for $450,000. The school board would be responsible for demolishing the two-story structure, which staffers estimated would cost about $300,000, leaving the school system to pocket $150,000 from the sale.

The management company plans to build senior citizen housing on the site and has until June to obtain funding for the project, according to school board attorney Pete Fletcher.

School board member Jimmy Atkins said the sale is a welcome chance to get rid of the property after more than a decade of stagnation.

“We’ve been talking about this property for years,” Atkins said. “It’s sitting there, it’s not benefiting anyone in the community and it’s not benefiting the school board at all. I look at it as an opportunity to get it off our books, get it back on the tax rolls generating money for the county.”

The 1933-era structure was vacated in 1997 after the Davidson school moved to a new building on 12th Street. Since then, the building, which contains asbestos, began to deteriorate and the roof needed $100,000 in repairs. Because of the leaking roof, the second floor collapsed onto the first floor. The school system also had to board up the windows and erect a $20,000 fence to keep trespassers out.

Board member Jack Padgett said there have been interested buyers over the years, but the extensive repairs needed on the building might have broken many of those deals.

JES Holdings has until the end of 2013 to close on the deal with the school system and has provided $10,000 down payment to hold the sale.

Heard Robertson, the chairman of the real estate committee for Historic Augus­ta, said he would be disappointed to see the structure torn down, especially with the possibility for renovation. He acknowledged, however, that the building is in poor condition and that years have gone by with no buyer.

“We wanted to see it saved,” Robertson said. “It’s just unfortunate that when (the school system) vacated the building, they didn’t save it up to preservation … Now we’re 15 years down the road and the situation has become more difficult.”

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countyman
19068
Points
countyman 05/15/13 - 08:49 pm
1
2
Empty Nesters flocking to downtown

Yes!!!! The renovation of the building would have bee nice too, but downtown Augusta can use the new construction to go along with the 'historic buildings'. Augusta is definitely moving full steam ahead in the year 2013. This article should definitely be listed under the 'Top headlines', on the Facebook page, and covered in the local news. The downtown/urban core revitalization continues, and empty nesters love to the help process move faster along. The senior housing, Artspace, Cultural/Mills campuses, etc proves Augusta is stepping up big time.

Speaking of Artspace, please the take survey below if you haven't already.

Little Lamb
43810
Points
Little Lamb 05/15/13 - 08:53 pm
1
0
A good security system . . .

. . . will be a must! But can the senior citizens remember the code? I have a hard time remembering my telephone number.

countyman
19068
Points
countyman 05/15/13 - 09:00 pm
1
2
Infill

Expect to see additional infill development between the Medical District and Central Business District..

The Medical District/Central Business will continue to attract development, because of the low crime rates, jobs, amenities, entertainment, etc.

floridasun
279
Points
floridasun 05/15/13 - 09:53 pm
1
0
Time will Tell If This Is A Positive For Downtown

I would be interested in knowing if this is a subsidized housing project like the Maxwell House and the old Richmomd Hotel.
Article makes no reference whether this is a market rate project.
Downtown has more than enough subsidized housing

countyman
19068
Points
countyman 05/15/13 - 11:19 pm
1
1
Positive

The Maxwell house is for low income adults who mostly have disabilities... The Richmond Summit is for low income senior citizens/disable residents.

This is a new property specifically made for senior citizens.

There's nothing wrong if you did have 'affordable' housing for quality senior citizen residents.

We do need to renovate/demolish both the Maxwell house/Richmond Summitt. A lot of these people have mental problems/disabilities, and should be located in one area. The Ervin Towers on Laney Walker, near Gracewood, and the Peabody on Walton Way is a good start. Then eventually move the overwhelmingly majority of people near Gracewood.

Darby
23557
Points
Darby 05/16/13 - 12:50 am
2
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Why didn't they just sell it outright for $150,000?

Mark my words, the taxpayers are going to take it where it hurts before this is over.

Riverman1
79153
Points
Riverman1 05/16/13 - 03:57 am
2
1
Senior citizen housing different?

How is senior citizen housing different than regular housing? Smaller? Just one room apartments?

countyman
19068
Points
countyman 05/16/13 - 11:00 am
1
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The property was sitting

The property was sitting vacant, and doing nothing for the local tax base... The taxpayers are going to be happy additional money is coming to the tax base(pay for roads, cops, schools).

The difference is only senior citizens get to live on the property.

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