Demolition of 6 E-Comm Plaza continues in the rain

August 03, 2018 06:50 PM

ALBANY - Despite the rain, demolition of a 19th century building in downtown Albany continued Friday.

The vacant building was bought by the Albany Convention Center Authority back in 2010.  Some argue it could have been saved.

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"It was a fairly continuous row of 19th century buildings and now there is a huge gap between the hotel and the businesses up here,” Historic Albany Foundation representative Bill Brandow said. “How long is that going to be empty at this point?"

Brandow said he asked the ACCA about maintaining the six buildings on eight acres they purchased on Broadway back in 2010. The land was initially going to be the site of the Capital Center, which has since been built on Eagle St.

6 E-Comm Plaza was declared unsafe on Thursday after the roof collapsed. It's the second of the 6 buildings to be demolished. Brandow said ACCA knew the roof was failing for years.

"The $40,000 - $50,000 that it would've cost 10 years ago versus $675,000 a decade later it's a bit frustrating,” Brandow said.

Brandow believes the ACCA put off the repairs to get an emergency demolition declaration, which allows them to bypass a public hearing.

But Assemblyman John McDonald , who serves on the ACCA board, has a different opinion.

"But the reality is if we started spending the money to redevelop that site we would've been called out for misuse of public money,” McDonald.

McDonald said the $675,000 for the demolition will come out of the ACCA reserves.

ACCA is in the process of selling the eight acre parcel and four remaining buildings to the Capitalize Albany Corporation. McDonald said the agreement has a December 31 deadline, but he hopes the deal is finalized sooner than that.

“There is a plan to use for this area where it's a mixed use community,” McDonald said. “Some retail, some residential, some restaurants maybe some kind of a public option maybe it's a theater whether it's some kind of public exhibit that would really create a new neighborhood in downtown Albany."

Demolition will continue throughout the weekend.


Emily Burkhard

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