The Union Recorder

November 23, 2013

City exploring annex proposals

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The City of Milledgeville solicited a Request for Proposal (RFP) from experienced firms interested in providing professional services for design and improvements related to the Annex Building and the city surface parking lot.

The city would like to repurpose the existing one-story 6,500 square foot masonry structure built in 1919 located at 127 E. Hancock St.

The RFP overview states, “the City of Milledgeville desires to explore concepts to expand the City Parking lot and to incorporate the reuse of the Annex Building.”

City Engineer Mark Patrick said six firms responded by the Monday, Nov. 19 deadline.

City Manager Barry Jarrett said the city decided to seek out proposals for different development options.

“We’ve indicated some usage we’d like for that building and that space over there,” Jarrett said. “We’ve gone out to some firms that are in that business for some suggestions of what and how they would propose to treat that building to accomplish some of the objectives we want. We didn’t put any limits on them.”

The city used the property as the City Hall Annex for the last 27 years to house Planning and Development, Human Resources and Downtown Development offices.

With all of those departments transferring to the renovated Elks Lodge Building in the first part of 2014, the question of what to do with the annex space remains.

Behind the Annex Building is the city parking lot, which has 136 standard parking stalls along with five that are designated for the physically challenged.

The existing parking lot is used for city employees, the Mary Vinson Library and the public at large. There are 36 spaces reserved for city employees and 44 spaces reserved for the library.

With the parking lot enhancement plans, the city would like to have an available 350 to 400 spaces, which could be part parking deck and part surface lot spaces based on the available RFP description.

“I think there is potential downtown, but you need some parking to assist that potential,” Patrick said.

The repurpose of the Annex Building is “flexible.”

“The viability of the structure should be examined along with potential abatement requirements, potential uses and probable costs,” according to the RFP document. “In conjunction with possible deck scenarios, the Annex Building may be deemed useful, not useful or partially useful. As such, a rehabilitation and reuse concept plan would then become a part of this project. Ideas such as storefronts or additional offices or perhaps a convention hall could be explored.”

According to the city manager, he’d like to see some commercial space at the front. The city also needs additional storage and parking.

“We have an interest in those kinds of things,” Jarrett said.

The city manager hasn’t reviewed any RFP’s received this week.

Patrick said the city would grade the packets soon.

“Then there would be some discussions at that point to decide which direction if any direction we should go,” the manager said. “It would require a lot of discussion and planning before the next step would move forward if at all.”

In 1919, Dr. J.E Kidd commissioned construction of the modern automobile storage and showcase building. Upon completion, G.B. Glass Motor Co., dealing Ford automobiles, moved into the space in 1920.

Until the building was purchased by the city in 1986, the Kidd Building housed numerous car dealers such as Fowler Motors, Carrier Motors, Boyer Motors.

With such a rich and important Milledgeville history the city must keep all options open in the best interest of historic preservation.

“I think you could make a parking deck blend in well with some of the typical features you see in Milledgeville. That’s kind of what we are looking at,” Patrick said. “Not just some concrete monolith, but something that’s got some flair. We would want to make it attractive to blend into the environment.”