Schoharie County

Demolition leaves empty lot on Schoharie’s Main Street

Demolition project leaves a empty lot on Main Street in Schoharie.

An unexpected but long-awaited demolition project left a hole on Main Street in the village of Schoharie, but it may have opened up some opportunity, an official said.

It’s now among several buildings that were torn down following flooding from Tropical Storm Irene — but not one of the storm’s victims.

The brick building at 273 Main St. on the corner of Shannon Ave., opposite the county office complex, was condemned two years ago and should have been torn down last September, according to Joseph Nelson, who serves as the village’s zoning and code enforcement officer and fire inspector.

The flooding disaster put enforcement on hold for the crumbling building, and Nelson said a new court order issued a month ago called for demolition to be complete by this coming February.

Village officials have been concerned about the building’s safety for about two years after the side facing Shannon Ave. started bowing outward, threatening the J. Lacy Hair Salon next door.

“We had to do something with that building. We could not leave it the way it was,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the demolition project received all the proper OKs, including a Workmen’s Compensation certificate, insurance, asbestos abatement and certification and scaling paperwork for where the material was dumped.

A contractor hired by the owner leveled it in a few hours Oct. 6.

The site itself, Nelson said, is zoned as a business parcel, so it could serve well for a new building project in the future.

Nelson said he’s heard interest expressed in the parcel from a bank and from another local business, but he was unaware of any specific plans for the site at this point.

County property records show the tiny property consists of 0.05 acres of land — only a couple thousand square feet — and is assessed at $30,000.

The site once served as the Valley Restaurant & Grill before being purchased by the Schoharie Post of the American Legion in 1967.

The property was purchased in October 2010 by Robert Vanderveen of Esperance from the American Legion for $1, records show.

He declined to comment last week on plans for the parcel and said it’s “nobody’s business.”

“I got no comment,” Vanderveen said.

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