It is to nobody’s surprise that the city of Albany has an overabundance of vacant and dilapidated buildings. The solution as to what to do with them has been a long standing issue. Now the powers that be are trying to introduce a Land Bank to deal with these abandoned structures. For those who don’t know what a land bank is: it is a public authority created to efficiently hold, manage and
develop tax-foreclosed property. New York communities were granted the right to create one by a law enacted in July, 2011. The reason why this system won’t work in Albany — while it has had some success in similar size cities across the country — can be described in three words: Historic Albany Foundation. I would like to give some credit to the organization, but I just can’t. They meddle in areas where they have no expertise; one complete farce in question being the old “Wellington Row” project on State Street in the shadow of the Capitol. They are forcing the contractor to hold in place the facade of the old structure, while an attempt will be made to construct the building behind it. If they wanted the building to look like it did in it’s heyday, that can easily and more economically be achieved by using modern carpentry techniques. That will undoubtedly occur every time a beautiful old building on Orange Street, has an ornate facade that is crumbling. They will make it virtually impossible for a developer who has to demolish a building as part of a project containing several parcels to achieve the desired end result. They don’t all have to come down, but, you cannot save or rehabilitate every one of them. Albany was right in creating the Division of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance. If this goes through, they will have more work than they can handle One thing I don’t understand is how did the number of abandoned buildings get cut almost in half?
And that is “The Daily Take”