By Kathryn Taleporos | September 26, 2022
Central Warehouse Building in Albany
Photo Credit: WRGB
After failing to meet a deadline outlined in an 18 page report written by the city of Albany, Central Warehouse owner, Evan Blum, is going back to codes court.
This is the next step in an ongoing conflict between Blum and the city of Albany that the ASP began reporting on in August. The conflict began when the crumbling building forced Amtrak to close parts of their service earlier in the summer. Because of the threat the building posed to public safety, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan declared a state of emergency and began emergency repairs on the Central Warehouse building.
After the State of Emergency expired, the city released a report detailing the layout of the building and all the repairs that need to be done to make the building safe again. The repairs include repairing all the crumbling and deteriorating concrete, and continuing to stabilize the building so it does not remain a threat to public safety.
The report also laid out specific dates that the renovations need to be completed by. In addition to the repairs, Blum is supposed to remove all the garbage and register the building as a vacant building.
The first deadline listed in the report was Sept. 16. According to the report, the owner was supposed to seal all the remaining exposed concrete by this date.
Blum has been battling with the city over this property and has not completed the repairs required of him to continue ownership of the building. This means that the city can now bring Blum back to codes court and try to retake the property from him once again.
According to reporting by the Times Union, Blum previously lost a lawsuit against the city, and has attempted to file for bankruptcy twice. The Times Union also said that Blum has now filed a civil rights lawsuit with the federal court. This lawsuit claims that Blum’s due process rights were violated.
After purchasing the building for only $1, Blum was expected to continue and develop the building. However, after not making any progress since he bought the building in 2011, the city wants to sell the building to other developers who will renovate the building and utilize its space for commercial and retail space, as well as apartments.
In a phone interview with the Times Union, Blum said the city has been “scheming” to take his property from him for a while. He continued on to say that he is willing to make the required repairs to the building, and he does not understand why the city is trying to take his property.
Blum said that the time-frame the city had given him to complete the repairs was unreasonable: “You can’t do that in 30 days, that’s impossible.”
“What, do I have the word idiot written all over my face,” said Blum in the interview.