Friday Happy To Demolish Hour
Itâ€™s highly unlikely that there will be no â€˜knight in shining armorâ€™ to rescue the Jersey Livery Stable. At 3pm today a neighbor heard the sounds of bricks coming down at the property. Like clockwork The Cityâ€™s Friday emergency demolition team was already hacking away at the former stable. These guys must really enjoy tearing Bob Freudenheimâ€™s properties down on weekends. The emergency demo was halted when an immediate neighbor called and reported the suspect demo. Apparently there had been no forewarning that any demolition procedure was to begin. Alas, the temporary halt only means that crews will be back at 8am Saturday morning to finish the job.
Word has it that Bob Freudenheim, owner of the property (as well as the recently demolished Falcon building), will indeed pass along the demolition price tag to the taxpayers and will ultimately still own the land. What is really scary is that he remained firm on his $400,000 asking price even after the recent brick collapse. Apparently, he feels that once the taxpayers have paid for the demo he will be in possession of a large parcel of shovel-ready property that could sell for more than what he had been asking for the building. Could this have been his intention all along?
Concerned parties are asking how the City could have botched the process so badly on the inspection process (or lack of one). According to demolition inspectors, there was a healthy list of registered complaints attached to the properties. Those complaints fell on deaf ears (as they often do) and now we are stuck with another mess on our hands. This livery stable has been an icon in this neighborhood for a long, long time. It will be sad to see it go. We can only hope that slumlords like Freudenheim will be stopped from destroying the historic urban fabric of our city through demolition by neglect. Activists are trying to reach Buffalo ReUse in order to assess whether saving the architectural details is possible.
I spoke to Roger Trettel, savior of the iconic Buehl Building, who told me that he had looked at the Jersey livery at one point and was deeply saddened to see it go. With the right pressure via code violations, the City could have prevented this terrible loss and neighbors are furious as to the lack of actions taken in recent years. Had the $400,000 price tag been slashed things might now be different. The City Inspections Department should be held responsible for this loss as much as Bob Freudenheim.
Report from the demonstration rally from BRO commentor Colin:
1. The demolition was postponed until Saturday at 8AM. Folks are working to find an engineer to look at it, and a judge to issue an injunction.
2. Rivera was at the rally, working the phone and trying to get Tobe and others on the horn. Rivera's not the problem.
3. The owner has had offers but has turned them down, including one as recently as three months ago.