The Tallassee City Council once again took measures to condemn the historic Hotel Talisi in the downtown district.
Councilmember Sarah Hill said building owner Wyline Troupe has had over 11 years to make repairs to the building after a fire in 2009 and it has been 16 months since the council first condemned the property citing safety issues.
Troupe attended Tuesday's council meeting but had to leave, according to Tallassee’s building inspector Andy Coker.
Coker explained and The Tribune confirmed with representatives from Troupe’s property management company, B&W Home Rental, repair efforts have been halted after a development firm showed interest in the hotel and another nearby building.
“He said he had plans that he had given to three builders,” Coker said. “In the meantime, a development firm out of Birmingham came down last Wednesday with an architect. They looked at the hotel, took pictures and took measurements. They also looked at what he referred to as the Sears building. It was a Sears hardware store. It’s a three-story (building) across from the hotel.”
Any future development of the building would remain as planned.
“The hotel would be redone as a hotel. He did not give any indication on what he refers to as the Sears building,” Coker said. “He told the contractors to hold off on their bid to see what plays out with this firm out of Birmingham.”
Hill said Troupe was given ample time to make the needed repairs then made a motion to declare the property a public nuisance.
“He’s been stringing us along for 16 months now,” Hill said. “No improvement whatsoever. It’s been 11-and-a-half years since the building burnt down. With the lack of anything actually being done, I move to declare it a public nuisance again. He has 30 days to respond if the council will vote with me.”
The council voted with Hill, as her motion to declare the building a public nuisance passed with no objection.
Councilmember Bill Godwin, who served as mayor pro-tem during last Tuesday’s meeting, then asked what action the city could take moving forward.
“If the nuisance is not remedied, then the city has the ability to come in and remedy the situation,” city attorney John Smith said.
The council first declared the property a public nuisance in April of 2019 and Troupe appealed that decision at the May 28, 2019 council meeting where Coker told Troupe, “you’re going to fix it or we’re going to tear it down.”
The unique history of the Hotel Talisi, paired with a widely popular buffet, once drew a tremendous number of people to the area, but that changed in October 2009 when fire engulfed the interior.
Troupe had planed to bring the facility up to code afterward, but a required second elevator for a banquet hall/event space on the third floor drove up the cost.
Troupe has 30 days to appeal the council’s decision. When The Tribune reached out to Troupe for comment, he was unavailable.