TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last April a fire ripped through a Troy building, displacing nine related families. In an effort to make sure it wasn’t added to the city’s already lengthy list of vacant properties, local investors took on the restoration process.
It was last April as Debbie Davis recalls when a fire ripped through a Washington Street building, displacing dozens of family members in the Little Italy neighborhood.
“When you see a fire strike that devastates a building like this fire did, your first thought is ‘oh no not another vacant building coming up’,” Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said.
Thankfully his fears did not come true, 352 Washington Street did not become one of the more than 500 vacant buildings in the city. Owner BD Construction restored the property and unveiled six new apartments on Tuesday that are now available for rent.
“It put[s] a smile on your face you know what I mean,” Wayne Bradley, a Troy resident, said. “Who doesn’t like to smile and see something nice and pretty?”
“They should be renovated or if they can’t be renovated tear them down,” Davis said.
This summer through the states land bank program the city demolished a number of buildings, but as Senator Neil Breslin points out there’s a long way to go.
“I think that from the Attorney General on down who’s invested a lot of money for localities to use in their land banks we’re not on top of it yet but we’re getting close because one vacant house can devastate a neighborhood,” Neil Breslin (D-44th NYS Senate District) said.
In an effort to encourage others to invest and restore properties, this Saturday the city is holding a building reclamation clinic.
“Things like this, how you arrange your financing, what insurance you need to consider, how you talk to contractors, and how you get the ball rolling on some of these vacant properties,” Mayor Madden said.
Learn more about the clinic: