Owners plan to repair, market bank building

Published 2:51 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Andalusia City Council on Tuesday gave the owners of the First National Bank Building, also known as the Timmerman Building, an additional two weeks to complete a plan to bring the building up to code.

The structure was among the first abated as unsafe under a new ordinance passed last fall. The ordinance calls for the city to contact property owners about problems. If property owners do not take action or present a plan for action, buildings are posted as unsafe, and after 30 days, a public hearing is held.


Two weeks ago, the council continued a public hearing on the abatement of the building. This week, the majority owner of the building, Tom Forbath traveled from California to meet with council members.

“I am here to assure you what is most important for us is to make it safe and secure,” he said “I was up there today with (building inspector) Richard Moore, viewing all the windows and the terra cotta work that needs to be done.”

Forbath said the immediate goal is to remediate the building and make it safe, then to list it with a broker, likely outside of Andalusia.

“The last time it sold, it was on the market for five years,” he said. “We’re going to cross our fingers and pray to God we can sell it in the next couple of years.”

City attorney Mark Christiansen told council members with written agreement on the building is 95 percent complete and he recommended giving the owners two more weeks.

Mayor Earl Johnson expressed his appreciation to Forbath for making the trip.

“We want to work with people,” Johnson said. “You have demonstrated first by your very competent attorney and secondly by coming here personally that you are willing to do that.”

Montgomery attorney John Plummer represents the property owners.

Last month, the council asked that construction barriers be erected around the building for safety purposes.