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Downtown improvement plan in place

By Leigh Anne Butler

The Hotel Talisi has been sitting unoccupied in downtown Tallassee for over 12 years.  The Hotel, along with the adjacent Smarty Pants building, were set afire on November 30, 2009.  The Smarty Pants building was torn down shortly after the fire and now serves as a public park.

“After a lengthy legal process, the Tallassee City Council was finally able to prove that the historical Hotel Talisi was a public nuisance which posed a hazardous situation in the downtown area,” Bill Hall, Ward 4 City Councilman stated.  “The property owner agreed to sign over the deed for the property to the City of Tallassee rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in necessary repairs.”

The hotel, originally called the Woodall Hotel, opened in 1928 and operated continuously for 81 years.  The former hotel and restaurant was owned by Wylie Troupe, who signed the deed to the City of Tallassee.

“This structure will soon be a memory as the council is making plans for demolition as part of a downtown revitalization plan,” Hall added.

The downtown revitalization plan is slated to start in the spring of this year.  It is a three phase project that will give downtown an updated look. 

The first phase will consist of utility relocation.  “All utilities will be upgraded and replaced underground,” Hall explained.  “The low bid, awarded in the amount of $1,493,925 has already been granted to Rast Construction.”

Demolition of the Hotel Talisi will be phase two.  Hall added, “The city has requested the services of CDG Engineers & Associates to help in determining the quickest and safest way to remove the structure while causing as little disruption to neighboring businesses.”

The third and final stage will be known as the “Streetscape Project” where the downtown streets will be resurfaced and sidewalks renewed.  Plans are in the works to begin advertising for this phase during the summer with construction to begin later in the year. 

“A large portion of these funds will be funded by a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant was received previously,” Hall concluded.