It’s Albany’s Biggest Eyesore. The 12-story Central Warehouse from 1927. We’ve all seen it, the big tan, ugly concrete behemoth between the Hudson River and the State Capitol in Albany’s newly rezoned Warehouse District. It’s been unused and vacant, a revolting scar on the Albany skyline since a devastating fire in 2010 burned everything inside. But, the skeleton remains solid as rock. Now, could it be ready for a new and exciting future? Evan Blum is the new owner of Albany’s Biggest Eyesore. He’s a soft-spoken man with dry humor, and a renowned expert at saving architectural artifacts from historic buildings around the world. Fireplace mantals from the Plaza Hotel and Jackie Kennedy’s apartment. Stained glass from churches, synogogues, and banks. Heavy, and priceless ceramic-glazed, and cast iron tubs. Many other beautiful bathroom fixtures. And countless doors and windows from mansions of the past. Reselling them for thousands of dollars at his Demolition Depot, in the East Harlem section of New York City. He now wants an Upstate New York location. Blum paid about 280-thousand dollars for the old building. It was a cold storage shipping terminal for meat, dairy, and produce offloaded from trains, sorted, and trucked all over the capital region. It has a twin in Toronto that’s now a beautiful shopping mall and condominiums. But, not here. It’s still Albany’s Biggest Eyesore. Blum has great plans for the building. But first, he wants city and state approval to wrap it in what he calls “artistic advertising” to generate cash to help start the project. The full-size ads would be changed frequently and even help promote the city’s public events. It’s early, but the city of Albany “appears” ready to help. New development of apartments, a hotel, and the Skyway Park are happening all around Albany’s Biggest Eyesore. Could the project be held up by something as simple as federal laws on the size of ads next to an Interstate Highway? Blum is hoping to get approvals soon! And, now that you’ve seen the plans for “outside” the building, what about inside? Blum still has not filed applications to use the building for advertising. This is the application but he hasn’t turned it in and apparently doesn’t think he has to do it because the building was used for advertising in the past and still has the faint remnants of an ad on the side of it. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of back taxes on the property. Take the poll on ad wrap. Return tomorrow to go inside.
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