This is a link to the latest information on the Preservation Foundation’s drive to block the demolition of the buildings at 65 and 69 Phila Street.
The Foundation is selling lawn signs for people to put up to show support for the preservation of historic buildings in our city as part of their effort to publicize the threat to the Phila Street properties.
They are also seeking people who have attempted to purchase the buildings.
Show your support for saving 65 and 69 Phila Street with a sign!
Lawn signs are available for a suggested donation of $10. To receive one, please order online at www.saratogapreservation.org with the Donation Note “Signs,” call (518) 587-5030,or email Nicole Babie, at email@example.com.Preservation Website
Over the years the Foundation has been contacted by numerous buyers who have expressed interest in preserving the structures. “We know there are people who have been serious about rehabilitating these properties. However, nearly all of them have indicated that the sellers are difficult and unwilling to negotiate a price,” stated Executive Director Samantha Bosshart.
The Foundation is seeking people who have attempted to buy either of these properties to submit public comments about their experience. Please submit your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Wednesday, January 20th or contact the Foundation at email@example.com.Preservation Website
3 thoughts on “Update On Preservation Foundation’s Campaign To Stop Demolition of 65 and 69 Phila Street”
The properties located at 65 and 69 Phila Street have been the most glaring example of the vacant properties problem in our City for many years. We introduced the Vacant Buildings Ordinance in order to be sure that empty buildings are inspected annually and to provide incentive for owners of such properties to make decisions about developing or selling the properties sooner rather than later. Chapter 222 was approved by the Council which was good. All vacant buildings in the City must be registered with the Public Safety Department. The registrations increase annually from the first year to the fifth year for a maximum fee of $1,000 for residential and $2,000 for commercial buildings. Unfortunately, due to pressure both from inside and outside City Hall, the fees are too low and thus are not as effective as they could be. Both Schenectady and Troy have similar ordinances but after 5 years, their annual registration fees increase to $5,000.
The two buildings on Phila might not be restorable. The long-time owners also had properties on South Franklin and Park Place. The building on South Franklin was nicely restored a few years ago and the Park Place property is finally being improved, much to the relief of those in that neighborhood. However, the neighbors of the Phila Street properties have been dealing with the two vacant properties for decades. The owners have been meeting the building codes but this is of little consolation for the neighbors.
If these buildings can be rehabilitated, I am all for it. However, if not, they should be demolished ASAP so that new buildings can be constructed which would match the architectural characteristics of that portion of the historic district. SOMETHING needs to be done.
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I was wrong on the City’s current registration fees for vacant buildings. The fees do increase to $5,000 and $6,000 for residential and commercial properties respectively which does provide a significant deterrent for owners who might otherwise sit on their properties for years.
It’s ok for construction companies who are politically connected to purchase properties, tear them down, and then build high density condos or huge, out-of-proportion to the size of the lot, single family homes. Increase their profits is the name of the game. But for these two “historic” buildings, there are a different set of rules. Apparently the owners are not politically connected. They have met resistance from neighbors who are shooting themselves in the foot (feet?). The neighbors have chosen to mount a rally in hopes of preserving these two relics, instead of welcoming the construction of new buildings that will enhance the character of that neighborhood. It’s time to be fair. It’s time to move on. As former Commissioner Mathieson says, “If these buildings can be rehabilitated, I am all for it. However, if not, they should be demolished ASAP so that new buildings can be constructed which would match the architectural characteristics of that portion of the historic district. SOMETHING needs to be done.” I agree with Dr. Mathieson.