Judge’s decision opens door for bids on longtime Albany eyesore

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A bankruptcy judge has denied a repayment plan submitted by the owner of the Central Warehouse in Albany, a longtime city eyesore. Evan Blum is the New York City businessman who is the focus of the court decision.

“You know, I think a lot of people don’t see it for what it is. I don’t see a broken shell or an old broken down warehouse. I see it for what it can be,” said Andrew Joyce, the Chairman of the Albany County Legislature.

Joyce is hoping a bankruptcy judge’s decision may now open up a realistic plan for the long-shuttered former cold storage facility. In 2018, Blum spoke with NEWS10’s Tim Lake after purchasing the building, saying he envisioned a space for artists. Now, after three years there has never been any sign of renovations.

Blum’s track record includes foreclosure on another weathered property in Connecticut. After filing for bankruptcy he now owes more than half a million dollars in back taxes. This week a federal judge denied Blum’s request for a repayment plan citing finances and outstanding code violations.

Blum told NEWS10’s Anya Tucker over the phone that his intentions had been honorable, but that his father’s illness and the pandemic set him back.

“Our intention was to take care of everything. It’s just that when someone is down, you don’t kick them when they are down and that’s what happened. I got kicked when I was down,” said Blum.

So, what does the future hold for the pockmarked eyesore? The court decision opens the door for an opportunity for the county to take possession of the property. Joyce says they have received a few bids which are currently sealed.

“The warehouse district revitalization happened years ago. We need to work with people that are serious. That can bring resources and real effort behind what the opportunity it.”

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