UPDATE: Demolition Approved for Saints Apartments, Still a Long Road Ahead

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

By a unanimous vote, the Dothan Historic Preservation Commission granted demolition approval for the Saints Apartments. The Downtown Dothan Redevelopment Authority purchased the property last year, and have since wanted to turn it into a parking and green space.

“This allows us to start the mechanisms; to go ahead and start looking towards demolition: what it's going to cost, what it's going to take,” explained Jansen Tidmore, Executive Director of the DDRA. “What we're going to do with the green space is just going to be such an improvement over what we've got right now.”

However, others argued demolition will do more harm than good. Dothan resident John Newton does not believe workers properly removed asbestos back in April 2013.

“They have something from the state that says 'oh, there was no contamination.’ But, I to make sure that they clean it up before they do any demolition, because disturbing asbestos is when you really spread it,” voiced Newton.

Yet, Tidmore explained that letter from the state, is from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). The ADEM gave them the stamp of approval and it administers all major federal environmental laws. Still, Tidmore encourages people, who want to save the Saints Apartments, to come forward. However, they must present the fundamentals of the project and have the funding to back it. The opposition is hoping someone does.

“We are trying to concentrate on building our neighborhood back up and it's going to require the city of Dothan to help us get this done,” said Dorothy West Morelind, a Dothan resident.

DOTHAN, AL - The Historic Preservation Commission approved the Downtown Dothan Revelopment Authority's request to demolish the Saints Apartments.

Officials say the building is at minimum two months away from being torn down.

"This is not a structure that can be salvaged, certainly not one that can make money," said executive director of the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority Jansen Tidmore.

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