ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Everyone knows the Central Warehouse. Known as Albany’s eyesore — the building is causing new problems for the city and county as leaders debate how to move forward. But, one lawmaker has a new vision.
“Right there at the waterway just yards away is where the original Erie Canal Lock 1 was. If we were to uncover it, bring in, open up the canal, connect it to the Hudson river, it would mean tremendous redevelopment,” Pat Fahy, Assemblywoman for the 109th District, said.
The concept is designed by the Albany Waterfront Collaborative and part of a push to re-envision parts of the warehouse district and I-787 into a growing economic hub with tribute to Albany’s history along the Hudson river line.
The goal is economic growth, and increasing pedestrian traffic in the city. Fahy said the canal expansion could piggyback on the growth of the warehouse district and addition of breweries and bars to Broadway.
“When we add water and turn our downtown corridors into destination places by adding green space, re-accessing the river and re-accessing the canal it can drive tremendous reinvestment,” Fahy said.
Albany leaders are considering new paths to legal action against current owner Evan Blum who is in the middle of a lawsuit against Albany County. The county recently filed another legal motion take ownership of the building.
Fahy said she hopes the state of emergency in place will allow for changes to start sooner rather than later.
“He has tied this up in court for years, he owes back taxes I mean we have a problem here,” Fahy said.
The state budget includes $5 million for engineering, economic and climate research surrounding the project. Fahy said securing that funding was a three year effort.