Nearly 570 vacant buildings plague Troy

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TROY, N.Y. — There are almost 570 vacant buildings in Troy, and they’re more than just an eyesore, officials say they can pose a danger to public safety.

Matt McGrath, a housing code technician with the city, estimates demolishing one property could cost upwards of $45,000. If they can’t find the owners, the city and taxpayers will have to pay the costs.

McGrath says he’s watched people walk away from buildings and that it happens more often than you might think. Part of his job is to check in on the vacant properties and NEWS10 ABC had a chance to ride along Friday.

“About 20 minutes, a half hour per inspection, with 500. You do that math,” he said.

His first stop was 18 112th St., where a fire damaged the business over the winter. McGrath says the owner was denied a permit to rebuild, but is appealing.

“Right now I’m making sure it’s secured, making sure all the boards are tight on the building. Making sure that nobody can get in,” he said. “The stairs are structurally unsafe as you can see. The chimney has already begun to collapse.”

McGrath takes note and says he’ll follow up with the owner.

Next on the list is 494 6th Ave. The owner of the home died, the building has fallen into disrepair. There’s a big hole in the walkway and several in the roof.

“It’s scarier than the previous one because this one is actually in danger of falling,” he said.

McGrath calls the city engineer, who will come to inspect the building. If the engineer agrees that it is considered a danger to public safety — it would be demolished. McGrath says he hasn’t been able to get in touch with the owners next of kin, which means the city could be left footing the bill.

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