Valdosta Daily Times

March 20, 2013

Nuisance building removed

Site of murder, arson, demolished

Jason Schaefer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The business at 1401 Troup Street, which was the scene of a murder and an arson attempt in February, was demolished Monday.

The building, which most recently was a game room, was removed Sunday after members of the community who have called the site a nuisance for at least 15 years pressed the Vallotton family who owns it to tear it down.

The fate of the .34-acre lot is currently uncertain, but members of the community are hoping for the construction of a new building that might offer positive recreation for the youth that frequent the area, according to City Councilman James Wright.

Members of the community, Wright, and the City worked with the Vallotton family to get the building demolished, according to Assistant to the City Manager Mara Register. The building was damaged by fire and had a broken window.

While the City had a stake in the building's removal, the final decision fell on the Vallottons, who took out a demolition permit, according to City Manager Larry Hanson.

“They made a decision with their insurance company to voluntarily tear the building down,” Hanson said.

Wright would like to see a recreation center or job training center built on the site, possibly with grant money, but he doesn't think his community needs another park.

"I would hope there would be somewhere positive for the kids to go," Wright said. "If that won't happen, we'll still have that nuisance property. I hope in the long term, we could look at doing something like that."

Members of "a couple of churches" approached Wright to inquire as to the price to purchase the property, but no offers have been made, Wright said.

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Land Bank Authority has no interest in acquiring the property, according to Register, but she added no property information has been officially presented to the Land Bank so far.

Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said the building was the site of numerous calls to the VPD over the years.

Having the building torn down, said Childress, “is not only good for the city but for the police department as well.”