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Wellington annex implosion approved

Updated: 08/15/2014 11:37 PM
Created: 08/15/2014 4:41 PM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Staff

ALBANY - In its heyday, the Wellington Hotel boasted more than 400 guest rooms in the shadow of the State Capitol. Former Governor Mario Cuomo moved in when he was a law clerk. His successor, George Pataki, lived there when he was an assemblyman.

The historic facade on State Street will remain, but the 11-story Annex Building, and the adjacent parking garage, both long time eye sores, will be imploded with dynamite this coming Thursday.

"It's like an earthquake," said Sal Tarzia, owner of Amo La Bella Restaurant, directly next door to the demolition site. "It could damage a lot of houses. It could damage everything."

Tarzia says he's already planning to shut down for the day.

"I was supposed to have a party for lunch for some women," he says, "I had to cancel."

On South Pearl Street, two blocks away, Raquel Moody who owns the WhipMyHair Salon, says she's already anticipating inconveniences for herself and her clients.

"They already have a problem with parking so I feel like that would be a problem with them imploding the building," Moody says, "Where are they going to park? It's already a hassle as it is. I feel like that's going to impact it even more."

With the Annex Building out of the way, Columbia Development will be able to build a $66 million convention center on the site. The well-regarded Controlled Demolition Inc of Maryland has been hired for the demolition, the same company that imploded the Seattle Kingdome back in 2000, and also the J.L. Hudson Department STore in Detroit.

On the south side of the Annex is the parking garage and the pedestrian walkway connecting it to the Times Union Center. In advance of next week's demolition, crews were busy on Friday hanging protective tarps on the glass walkway to shield it from the blast and falling debris.

"Our priority for this project is to demolish the building expeditiously, safely and with minimal disruption to the city and this plan accomplishes those goals," said Joseph Nicolla, President of Columbia Development Companies, sent out in a written statement on Friday.

During the implosion, the following parking restrictions and road closures will be in place:

Courtesy: Albany Police Department:

Parking Restrictions:

August 21, 2014 12:01AM - approximately 1PM

State Street, both sides from S. Swan Street to Eagle Street

State Street, both sides from Eagle Street to Lodge Street

State Street, north side from N. Pearl Street to Lodge Street

Park Street, both sides from Lancaster Street to State Street

Eagle Street, both sides from Lancaster Street to State Street

Howard Street, both sides from N. Pearl Street to Eagle Street

S. Pearl Street, both sides from State Street to Hudson Avenue

Market Street, both sides from S. Pearl Street to Eagle Street

Lodge Street, both sides from Beaver Street to State Street

Wendell Street, both sides from Howard Street to Beaver Street

Road Closures:

August 21, 2014 7AM - approximately 1PM

The following roadways will be closed to all vehicular traffic:

Howard Street between Lodge Street and Eagle Street

Lodge Street between Beaver Street and State Street

Wendell Street between Beaver Street and Howard Street

August 21, 2014 9:30AM - approximately 1PM

Eagle Street between Madison Avenue and Pine Street

State Street between Eagle Street and Pearl Street

State Street between S. Swan Street and Eagle Street

Park Street between Lancaster Street and State Street

Lodge Street between Pine Street and State Street

Norton Street between Green Street and S. Pearl Street

Beaver Street between Wendell Street and Green Street

Hudson Avenue between Green Street and S. Pearl Street

Howard Street between Lodge Street and S. Pearl Street

Market Street between S. Pearl Street and Eagle Street

Grand Street between Phillip Street and Market Street

Additional Information and Advisory:

All pedestrian traffic within the road closures listed above will be prohibited at all of the closure points at 9:30AM until approximately 1PM. 

It is recommended that motorists seek alternate routes around the above listed road closures to avoid delays.

Albany

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