The former office building of DHR next door to Burger King is being demolished.
It’s coming down to make the lot there more appealing for commercial development. The DHR building was 20,000 square feet and it sits on a 1.3 acre lot, according to Gary Lyle of Hometown Realty, who has it listed.
It is owned by John Huey of Oneonta.
“We had been trying to sell or lease the property and we’d had a lot of interest,” Lyle said. “But the owner and I agreed the lot is the real value of the property and we both felt taking the building down would probably be the best thing. It would have taken a substantial amount of money to bring the building up to code.”
Lyle thinks a retailer or restaurant will likely locate there. Because of its size, it's a very appealing piece of commercial property.
“Most retailers or restaurants want at least 150 feet of highway frontage,” he said. “This lot has 258 feet. There are high traffic counts since the traffic is going both ways there.”
Further north, Highway 431 splits into Gunter and Blount so the traffic counts there are not as high.
For Lyle, listing the lot represents a full circle.
“I actually did the deal 35 years ago to bring DHR to that building,” he said.
The location had been a car dealership, Longshore Chevrolet.
“Bryson Hill of Huntsville, who did a lot of shopping center developments, purchased it and I cut the deal with DHR for them to lease it,” Lyle said. “Jody Chorba did the renovation of the building at that time.”
Max Huey, a CPA from Oneonta, eventually owned it. Max passed away. The current owner, John Huey, is Max’s son.
Lyle also found the property where the new DHR office is located on Bluff Road at the top of the mountain. It’s near the Health Department and VA Clinic, so that area has become something of a public service center.
“It was interesting that I still had a relationship with them after 36 years and could help them find their new home,” Lyle said.
The City of Guntersville formed a Public Building Authority, bought the property, built the new DHR office and leased it to the state.