I remember looking out my office window in 2010 and seeing black smoke pouring out of the Central Warehouse building in Albany.
“Finally,” I said. “Now they can rip that building down and all feel good about it.”
Unfortunately, the Albany Fire Department was ruthlessly effective in its efforts and saved a structure nobody wanted. Oh, well.
I don’t dislike the hulking Central Warehouse building, I’m just tired of reading about it. Yes, it would be so cool if it were renovated into lofts for affluent people and restaurants for affluent people and cute little shops for affluent people — but not if I have to pay for it with my tax money.
Renovation plans for the long vacant building always hinge on schemes where developers put up a little money and we put up the rest. Several local companies have made a very good living doing this, but I say not this time. Nobody in their right mind would put their own money into that place.
Don’t get me wrong. I love when old spaces with an interesting history are saved from the wrecking ball and repurposed. If you want to see an amazing example, visit MASS MoCA in North Adams, or the Harmony Mills in Cohoes.
But enough is enough. The Central Warehouse is a wreck and likely not worth the trouble. It’s too big and it has too many problems, but if you insist go ahead, just do it with your own money. Or here’s an idea, you could borrow the money from a bank. Good luck with that one.