Would you consider this building to be an eyesore?
State Senator Lester Jackson doesn’t seem to like that term. Chatham County lists the owners as Jackson’s parents, although his father passed a couple of years ago. Bizarrely, the fair market value of the building increased from 2012 to 2013, but the property owners found exemptions so that they paid zero property taxes to the county in 2013. [UPDATE: New reporting in the Savannah Morning News that raises even more questions has established that there was “a hardship exemption” from paying taxes last year and that the increase in fair market value by the County was from “an update last year to the cost tables the county uses to calculate construction costs.”]
Because of safety concerns, the city of Savannah initiated a process that would lead to a pretty quick demolition, and now the Savannah Morning News is reporting that the city is poised to purchase the property from Jackson’s family for a so-far-undisclosed sum.
If you’ve been following the city of Savannah’s property purchases, you already know that the last thing the city needs is to own more vacant and blighted property. In this case, after years of failing to force the owners to improve or sell the property, the city seems ready to reward Senator Jackson’s family. It will obviously be interesting to see how this plays out. I have more details and links in a post at Savannah Unplugged.