I wonder what’s happening with 1469 Niagara Street, the 4 story gem located on the corner of Niagara and Potomac.
In recent months, it seemed to have an owner who was doing a little bit of work however, when passing by last week, I noticed the “red mark of death” on the front which indicates a demolition may be in the works.
This 4 story brick building is in rough shape however, it’s beauty stands out regardless of its current condition. With the South Side of the building covered in Billboards, the structure must still be strong enough to support both the large billboards and the building. It does appear that windows have been replaced however, many are missing. They bays and storefront appear to be there, hidden behind plywood. This historic gem has potential.
Of course many may think to demolish this due to its appearance but lets consider asking a few questions first.1. Can this building be recreated? 2. Where is the City – why have they not held the owners accountable for their violations? 3. If demolished, will something better replace it? 4. Why is it okay to allow this to happen when the rest of the neighbors have to maintain their property? 5. Have we considered the fact that demolition can potentially reduce your property value?
Answer: This building cannot be recreated. The craftsman ship, materials and money is not available for a project like this. Investing in this property instead of demolition will add jobs, culture, excitement to the neighborhood. When people see investment happening around them, they begin to pay attention. They paint their shutters and add flowers to their yard. It is not rocket science, it is something we see happen every day. 1249 Niagara is located in an area that is up and coming and it is realistic to think that in 4 or 5 years, this building could be a neighborhood gem. Just because it may not make financial sense right now, doesn’t mean that demolition is the answer. 1249 Niagara can be weatherized and put on hold until it makes sense to do a full rehab. Keep in mind, parking lots and vacant land does not add value to a neighborhood, instead they attract garbage, weeds and potentially trouble.
Looking at the bigger picture, if we really consider all of the work and excitement on the West Side, one would think this building would be in demand, especially as the West Side growth and momentum continues to move towards Niagara Street. If we don’t stabilize and hold onto this building, in a few years, we will wish it was still standing.
If you are interested in this property, you can contact the owner here: HUSR Realty – PO BOX 244 Athol Springs, NY 14010. Or you can call 311 at City Hall to request information. If any one has any information or photos, feel free to email them to me. I would love to give an update.