Contact: David Galin
ALBANY, NY – After quickly remediating the initial threat to public safety and operations on the Amtrak rail line adjacent to the Central Warehouse earlier this month, the City of Albany has worked closely with engineering experts over the past two weeks to reinforce portions of the southern wall to the internal structure. As of Sunday, August 14, that reinforcement work is complete, and as a result, the State of Emergency Mayor Sheehan declared on Friday, July 29 has been lifted.
At the conclusion of the reinforcement efforts, professional engineering experts outlined the additional critical work the owner of the building, Evan Blum, must undertake to remediate the additional threats to public safety.
The City of Albany has issued an amended Notice of Violation to Evan Blum outlining the additional corrective action necessary, including:
- Make the roof, windows, and doors weathertight by September 16, 2022
- Seal remaining exposed concrete along upper southeast corner of building by September 16, 2022
- Remove all garbage, wood, paper, other combustible materials, graffiti, and plant overgrowth by September 16, 2022
- Register the building as a vacant building and pay the registration fee by September 16, 2022
- Retain a qualified, licensed Professional Engineer to perform a Structural Condition Assessment by October 14, 2022
- Install safety debris netting on the southern and eastern walls by November 18, 2022
- Provide a copy of the final Structural Condition Assessment to the City by December 16, 2022
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “As I have said since this emergency began, the City’s top priorities have been to safeguard the public and get the train tracks reopened. I want to thank our Director of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance Director, Rick LaJoy, and his team as well as our contractors for all their hard work in furtherance of both of those goals. There is still work to be done by the owner to prevent further deterioration, but we are pleased that the trains continue to run on time and the immediate reinforcement work on the southern wall is complete.
“This endeavor has made it crystal clear that the ongoing neglect by the building's owner, Evan Blum, is not only impacting our city, but commerce across the northeast. We will bill the owner of Central Warehouse for the expenses associated with mitigating the most recent threats to public safety, and urge him to comply with the amended Notice of Violation and take the necessary steps to prevent something similar from occurring in the future. If Evan Blum refuses to act, the City of Albany will not hesitate to once again step in and protect our residents and businesses to the fullest extent of the law."