Demolition continues on downtown Albany building

August 03, 2018 12:46 PM

Demolition crews are back in downtown Albany tearing down a pre-Civil War building.

This all began Thursday after the city was made aware of the roof collapsing recently. Albany fire officials believe it could be due to the increase in heavy rain over the past few weeks.

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The Albany Convention Center Authority has owned the building since 2010. Convention Center Authority board members say it's been vacant for over 20 years. They say they did work to shore up the building, put up fences around it, plywood over the windows, and minimal effort on the roof, but they did not have the legal authority to redevelop the property.

Initially this plot of land was intended to be the Capital Convention Center, but those plans were changed. So the Convention Center Authority is looking to transfer the property to Capitalize Albany Corporation, who showed interest in redeveloping the land.

There was some outcry on social media Thursday because no public hearing was held for a historic building. Normally that would have to happen before demolition could begin. Assemblyman John McDonald, who serves on the Convention Center Authority board, said they were basically caught between a rock and a hard place.

"We end up still being the owner of the properties. Did we protect the building by putting the fencing up and blocking out the windows making sure that the roof was repaired? Yes, we've done that, that minimal effort to stabilize the building. But we did not have the legal authority to actually redevelop the property," McDonald explained.

The demolition is expected to continue throughout the weekend.


WNYT Staff

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