Senoia DDA ready to renovate old police buildings

Senoia DDA Chairman Suzanne Helfman announces Tuesday that the organization is ready to begin renovating the old police department buildings on Main Street.

Senoia Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Chairman Suzanne Helfman told the City Council Monday night that the organization has closed on the old police department buildings on Main Street and is quickly proceeding with plans to renovate them. One of the buildings will house the city’s Welcome Center while the other will be leased.

DDA agreed in September to purchase the circa 1912 buildings for $27,000 and the City Council accepted the offer on a 4-1 vote. Per the agreement, DDA said it would be responsible for the rehab work that would be needed.

Helfman on Wednesday said DDA expects to begin the renovation process in short order. Once completed, DDA will use the smaller building for the city’s Welcome Center. The larger building, at approximately 1,400 square feet, will likely be leased for retail use, Helfman said, adding that DDA has been contacted by several interested parties.

The $27,000 renovation cost for the buildings is close to the $24,000 price tag that would have been needed if the City Council had decided to demolish the buildings rather than rehab and lease them. DDA will be responsible for any work needed to mitigate the asbestos, lead paint and mold found in the buildings.

City administrator Richard Ferry in late 2010 told the council that an environmental sampling of the old buildings, one frame and the other concrete, had been completed for asbestos, lead paint and mold.

Ferry said asbestos was found in the tile flooring, lead paint was discovered in interior and exterior surfaces and some mold was found in the HVAC system. The sampling concluded that the flooring could be covered, the area containing lead paint could be re-painted and the mold could be removed. The cost of the work was not part of the sampling work.