ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Weeks after Amtrak suspended service west of Albany for several days and a state of emergency was declared due to falling concrete, one local developer is still interested in brining new life to the crumbling property.

“We’re waiting for the county to work through the legal process and we’re eager to get started on it,” says Jeff Buell with Redburn Development Partners.

For many, the Central Warehouse is an eyesore. Buell agrees but believes the warehouse provides an opportunity to “flip the script” on the negativity surrounding the building. “You look at it and it’s gross. And everybody wants to just knock it down and I understand that, but what it really is, is an opportunity to say anything is possible here. This is a great place to live and if we can tackle it, then that changes the narrative and we need to change the narrative here more than anything else,” explains Buell.

Buell says the idea is to turn the property into apartments and shops. He also cites New York State and its Department of Transportation’s investment into a new Livingston Avenue Rail Bridge, which carries trains across the Hudson River and past the Central Warehouse, as another reason for wanting to fix the property.

“When you start creating connection points between Rensselaer and Albany over a bridge. That building ties into the bridge,” says Buell. “There are incredible opportunities there to create the walking-bridge down south of here that so many people use.” 

The city of Albany earlier this week outlined corrective actions for the building’s owner Evan Blum to complete. Some within 30 days. In a statement to NEWS10, Blum says, “first, I got the outline of additional work late yesterday [Thursday, August 18] and I have 17 deconstructions going at this time,” Blum said. “She [Mayor Sheehan] doesn’t understand the situation. Why am I getting picked on now after this has been going on for 25 years?”

Blum says that he wants to fix the building and have it house something in the future, but he wants to talk to the mayor in person about it. He says that doing all the aforementioned work in 30 days is physically impossible.

“I want to fix this, but they [Albany] wants to steal the building from me,” Blum said. “Who’s kidding who?”