Schenectady County

Company backs out of rehab of Silver Diner in Schenectady

A construction company has backed out of a proposed rehabilitation of the Silver Diner.
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The Silver Diner has been abandoned again.

Prize Construction backed out of a proposed rehabilitation project today, after months of negotiations over who would pay if contaminated soil were discovered nearby. The soil must be disturbed to add bathrooms, which are needed to meet current codes.

Ed Zemeck, who owns Prize Construction, has wanted to renovate the old diner since 2004, and quietly spent $10,000 shoring it up when he was paid $3,000 to do a structural analysis.

The city agreed last year to sell him the deteriorating diner car for $1, but the deal never came to fruition. Zemeck’s lawyer advised him not to take the property, which abuts an area expected to have some soil contamination, unless the city agreed to take all responsibility for contamination.

A compromise was offered in which the city would test for contamination and then sell the diner if the area was clean, but the city declined.

Metroplex listed the diner for sale on Craigslist and other Web sites today in hopes of finding a new owner.

If no one offers to buy it, the diner, which at one time was called Ruby’s, would be taken apart and key pieces would be displayed at a museum being developed in Duanesburg, Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said.

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