Much has been written and ‘tweeted’ this week about that forlorn structure at 472 Madison Avenue. The rundown former rectory and halfway house — currently owned by St. Andrews Episcopal Church — is an ongoing example of how people in the city of Albany should just mind their own business when it comes to deciding what to do with their property. The church has been called a “slumlord” by some (how can you possibly compare the owner to a rent to the student owner) for refusing to either sell the building, or renovate it. Officials from the church have said the latter is out of the question, citing costs received from a reputable contractor to do the work. Now the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association and Albany historical people are all over it. I particularly like the association rep Virginia giving her engineering opinion on the stability of the building. I guess she and fellow engineer Susan Holland toured the house and declared that it was sound, and just ready for renovation. So happens that the College of St. Rose owns most of the block for dorm use, so it would probably be OK for the college to buy it and do the demolition. All this because the association doesn’t want the church to knock it down and build a parking lot. The city asked for a land use plan, which the church provided, not hiding the fact that it would use the land for a parking lot. If someone bought the property and demolished the building, you probably couldn’t build anything on it anyway, without a variance from the city, concerning setback requirements. So let the church demolish the building, and do what they want with it. I’m sure that the city will be more than happy to issue a demo permit. Another thought just came to mind. Why doesn’t the association and the historic Albany people buy the property. Then it would be their right to do with it whatever they pleased. As it should be.
And that is “The Daily Take”