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Vacant hotel lot future to be determined

By Michael Butler

The corner lot at James and Sistrunk Streets that housed the Hotel Talisi for over 90 years is empty - almost. The footprint is now a holding spot for equipment while dowtown improvements proceed.

What the future holds is still up in the air. And no decision is expected to be made on the now city-owned piece of real estate until the work in the downtown district is complete.

"It's a storage place. That was actually beneficial," Tallassee Mayor Sarah Hill said. "It's about 10 to 15 percent done so far. We're looking at the streetscape project being sometime in November. Then we'll do the asphalt paving. We're looking at that as probably January as fully finished."

Updates with infrastructure, the aforementioned road work, sidewalks, street lamps, greenery, rails and ramps will all be included in the project.

"It will be so nice," said Hill. "You won't have to watch where you're stepping. We're just catching up with the times in making it safer. I like that it's going to be walkable and you can look at our beautiful river."

Discussion has been brought before the city council about another hotel replacing the former landmark.

"We'll take into account multiple ideas," Hill added. "There was a proposal made. Because we have a long lead time to figure anything out, I don't think the council has had any discussion. Nothing's going to happen right now. The contractors need that space. I like it open. It looks like it could be a really nice gathering spot. I know we have a green space there that was behind the hotel."