Historic City News local reporters were on the scene of what Mayor Joe Boles called “the most important entrance to our city” as demolition workers began dismantling the remains of a building at 101 South Ponce de Leon Boulevard last week.
Plans appear to be on schedule according to a statement by City Manager Bill Harriss in February. “We’re going to absolutely tear the car wash down,” Harriss said. “Beautification should be completed in three to six months.”
In a split decision of the Board of City Commissioners in February, with Vice Mayor Errol Jones and Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline opposed, the city purchased the former Seabreeze Car Wash site that stood at the southeast corner of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and King Street.
Sikes-Kline argued that this is not the time to make the purchase, while Jones noted its former use as a gas station could bring costly environmental remediation.
“We checked it out and feel very strongly that contamination is not an issue,” Harris told reporters.
The property was in foreclosure with mortgages totaling $233,000 — $171,000 of which was a second mortgage that the previous owners of the car wash owed to local real estate investor and businessman Norbert Tuseo. The city bought the property from Tuseo for $222,000 with funds from its reserves.
Photo credit: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer