Posted at: 09/25/2013 12:58 PM
| Updated at: 09/25/2013 4:03 PM
By: WNYT Staff
ALBANY – In just hours, the building at 576 Clinton Avenue was reduced to a pile of ruble. The demolition crew was still there Wednesday morning cleaning up the debris.
"We received a complaint about the building. We came over and saw it on Friday," said Jeffery Jamison, commissioner of the department of buildings and regulatory compliance in the city of Albany.
Jamison said the city engineer evaluated the building and immediately recommended the tear down. The roof and second floor had apparently collapsed down to the bottom. And Jamison said the building's foundation was bowing out.
"It was an eminent situation to the public and so at that point, we considered it an eminent threat and we ordered the emergency demolition," he said.
The property is owned by the county, according to Jamison and taxpayers have to foot the bill for the job. Albany County has been trying to sell the property since 2010. One deal fell through. Jamison said it's been a constant struggle with vacant properties and landlords in the city.
"I will tell you that last year, we had 600 court cases for vacant buildings," Jamison told Newschannel 13. "So we do go out and do the inspections."
But City Councilman Ron Bailey said the problem is people buy those properties. When they're too expensive to fix it up, they walk away, Bailey said. They fall back on their taxes. The building then becomes a revolving door through the auction process, going from one owner to the next. He said many of those owners just don't care.
"Somewhere down the line we have to figure out how to stop the revolving door with these buildings," Bailey said.
"The county is doing a much better job. The county is taking people to task on what they're going to do," Jamison said.