Ten demolitions slated in Schenectady as city removes blight

August 24, 2018 07:12 PM

Overgrown yards, boarded up windows and dilapidated buildings dot the Schenectady landscape. People who live on Barrett Street say they're ready for some much needed change.

"We see what they are, unfortunately, but with the casino coming and Union College here, buying some of them and people buying some of the houses in the area, it should be going up in value," said Maurice Miller, a Barrett Street resident.

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1101 Barrett is one of 10 homes and buildings slated to be torn down in the coming months. The Capital Region Land Trust approved a $622 million contract for the demolitions this week. County officials say a combination of out with the old and in with the new is part of a citywide revitalization effort.

"We try to be as strategic about it as we can. We don't move in and wholesale or say demolish a block of properties because they're blighted. We try to find locations where it compliments existing new construction underway," said Gary Hughes, majority leader for the Schenectady County Legislature.

Other properties slated to come down include a home one block from where the new Mont Pleasant library is being built. On Barrett Street, a privately funded townhouse complex is going up one block from the house being torn down.

Juanita Praileau lives right across the street.

"Down the street, we got the Whitney Bookstore and the library. Everything is within walking distance -- CVS, the Proctors Theater. So, I love this community," said Praileau.

She hopes others will follow the city's lead on making it even better.

"We that love our community will stick together and take care of it. What you love, you take care of," she said.

The Land Bank has already torn down about 100 other structures in the last five years. They say the next 10 will begin any day and funding is coming from city, state and county resources.


Jacquie Slater

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