FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - After nearly an hour of back and forth between concerned residents and a potential developer, Fort Valley City Council decided the old Coca Cola bottling plant is not a part of the historic district. Council has no right to put restrictions on what a developer does with it's design.
It was clerical error, that led to this loss for the Historical Preservation Commission.
"Instead of 309 Camellia Boulevard it was listed as 215 Camellia Boulevard," says Connie Rainey, H.P.C.
That address mix-up left the Coke building off the map of the National Register's list of historic places in Fort Valley.
"It is recognized as one of the 58 contributing buildings," says Rainey.
Even though a letter was sent from the state acknowledging the mistake. Fort Valley City Council made a unanimous decision to allow a developer to tear down the historic building. Resident Billy Logue says he's tired of this city repeating these mistakes.
"We keep tearing everything down. Well what is the reason to keep coming to Fort Valley, except to pass through and eat a hamburger?" says Logue.
It's that "idea" that business-man Danny Strickland plans to bank on. He'll demolish the old Coke building, and put a Wendy's in it's place.
"I'm a big history person myself, and I understand not wanting to forget where we're at," says Strickland.
Members of the H.P.C. say they're excited to welcome another new business to Fort Valley, they just wish the historic charm of this building could be preserved during the process. Strickland doesn't think it's possible.
"As far as the building itself I just don't think it can be salvaged," says Strickland.
Rainey believes there's still hope if Strickland is willing to consider a compromise.
"Since the Wendy's franchise used Coca-Cola products exclusively, I think it would be a phenomenal use of the building."