A historic downtown Dothan building appears to be on the brink of destruction.
The Historic Preservation Commission gave the go-ahead to the Downtown Dothan Redevelopment Authority to demolish the building commonly known as the old Wadlington Hotel and Superbad building, located at 161, 171 and 173 N. Foster St.
It was condemned by the City of Dothan half a decade ago due to structural deficiencies.
Since then, several attempts have been made to salvage the building.
The DDRA was on the verge of approving the building’s demolition in 2010 when Eagle Investments swooped in and presented a plan to save it.
Purchasing the building for $1, Eagle didn’t move forward with its plans and eventually decided to give the building back.
Two weeks ago, Eagle exercised the reconveyance clause in its initial contract, giving ownership back to the DDRA.
“It wasn’t a project they thought they could do, so they thought it best to give the building back to us and let us decide what to do with the property,” said Jansen Tidmore, executive director of the DDRA.
According to Tidmore, recent alarming structural changes caused the DDRA to take quick action after recovering the property.
“There’s some bowing in the front walls,” he said. “Some of the walls you can view from the street have changed as far as being able to see a bubble, and that’s alarming because it’s a trend that was spotted in the (Cash Drug) building that collapsed last year, a sure sign this has become unstable. It’s not a matter of if it happens tomorrow or two years from now, but something at some point could be the snapping point for that building, and that’s just too much of a risk for any of us to shoulder.”
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