Hearing reset on Blue House lien

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Council will hold a public hearing in late February, and likely will decide the same night if it will attach a lien against a piece of property off Alabama 119 to recoup its cost of tearing down the former Blue House, council members announced recently.

The council originally was set to hold the public hearing during its Feb. 12 meeting, but continued the hearing until its Feb. 26 meeting to allow time for the hearing to be properly advertised, council members said.

During a Jan. 22 meeting, council members said it cost the city about $13,456 to have the property cleared in late December 2017 after the council approved a demolition bid from the Birmingham-based Gray’s Roofing and Tree Service company in early December.

In November 2017, the council voted to accept a recommendation from the city’s Housing Abatement Board to demolish the former Blue House building near Thompson Sixth Grade Center.

If a lien is attached against the property, it will have to be paid off if the property is sold in the future.

For many years, the building housed the Blue House Café, which was a popular restaurant drawing customers from throughout the region, once even including a visit from John F. Kennedy Jr.

The restaurant has been closed for several years, and the building was vacant and had fallen into disrepair before it was torn down.

The Alabaster Commercial Development Authority in 2014 and 2015 expressed interest in purchasing and spurring development on the property, but has not moved forward with purchasing the land.

In 2015, the Shelby County Museum and Archives launched a campaign to help save the former Blue House by encouraging locals to nominate it for the “Alabama Places in Peril” program.

In 2017, the CDA sold several acres on Alabama 119 across from the former Blue House to a developer, which constructed a Hardee’s restaurant there.