The city of Columbus is listing the downtown property where the Gilmer Inn used to sit for its appraised value of $420,000. City officials said they hope the potential sale brings new development to downtown. Photo by: Isabelle Altman/Dispatch Staff
Chris Griffin, left, and his father, Drake Griffin, of Caledonia, watch the demolition of the Gilmer Inn in this 2016 Dispatch file photo. The city of Columbus has listed the downtown lot that previously housed the inn for $420,000 in hopes of bringing more development to the area.
Photo by: Dispatch file photo
June 22, 2019 9:58:17 PM
The city of Columbus has listed a downtown property for sale in hopes of bringing more development to the area.
After three years of ownership, the city is asking $420,000 for the lot that previously housed the Gilmer Inn at 321 Main St.
Realtor Dennis Coleman, of Coleman Realty which is marketing the property, said the city had the lot appraised, and the lot was listed on Wednesday.
"The city got us to do this sometime back, it just took us a long time to get an appraisal," Coleman said.
The property was appraised at $420,000, which legally the city has to sell it for, Coleman said.
Coleman added the property is in a prime location downtown that would be good for any upcoming business, a sentiment echoed by city officials.
Columbus Mayor Robert Smith told The Dispatch he knows parties who are interested in developing the site, but would not speak to what type of developments may come to downtown.
"We have nothing there but a spot. Any development there now would be an addition," Smith said. "We are just trying to sell it and hopefully we can get a developer in and build something that will be an asset that will go on the tax roll."
The former Gilmer Inn, a 75-room motel, first opened in Columbus in the 1960s and was operational until the city purchased it four years ago.
Chief Operating Officer David Armstrong said over the years, the Columbus inn had grown into an eyesore in downtown, prompting the city to make the purchase in 2015. The city bought the motel for $425,000 and in 2016 the Gilmer Inn was demolished due to structural and asbestos damage.
Armstrong said the lot could be sold as one, two or three parcels with the prices split evenly.
"It's prime real estate," Armstrong said. "It's an excellent location for a bank, some offices or maybe even some town houses."
He added the city isn't looking for a particular developer, but said he hopes to see another part of downtown cleaned up.
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