Another Snag! Will Albany’s Central Warehouse Ever Get New Life?
The saga continues. The biggest eyesore in Albany just seems intent on hovering over the city in its current ever-deteriorating condition.
The sprawling 11 story concrete structure has sat abandoned along 787 for decades. It was most recently purchased by Evan Blum, who owns a Harlem based salvage business, in 2017. At the time, he had plans of rehabbing the building and turning part of it into an art gallery.
Five years and several lawsuits later, the building still sits rotting. Albany County and owner Evan Blum have been engaged in legal battles as the county has tried to foreclose on the structure, due to an estimated $500,000 owed in back taxes. In late 2021 and early 2022 the county made several attempts to take the building over. In each attempt, Blum countered, but the courts have dismissed all his claims.
According the the Albany Business Review, Blum is now taking the matter to federal court, claiming the county violated his constitutional rights by not filing a notice with the county clerk prior to the foreclosure. In his lawsuit, Blum is seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000,000 in punitive damages.
Albany County wants to turn the building over to two contracting firms, Redburn Development and Columbia Development, who have plans on rehabbing the building and turning it into a mixed use facility that would include apartments and commercial space. Renovation of the structure is expected to cost upwards of one hundred million dollars.
The county legislature unanimously approved turning the building over to the two developers earlier this year, but numerous court battles have delayed any progress.