70 Riley - Off to a Landfill...

I've been following the long slow process of "demolition by negelect" of a number of properties in my Cold Springs neighborhood for the longest time. Time has run out for this single family home at 70 Riley Street, right around the corner from Artspace.
70 Riley Street
I heard from a few area residents last night that the side of the house had recently collapsed. I walked over to check it out this morning. The house is still privately owned and the City officials who've seen this picture this afternoon have promised to move 70 Riley to the top of the demolition list.

Here's what 70 Riley looked like a few years ago, August 2006. fixBuffalo readers may remember another single family home on the same block, 93 Riley Street from a post a few years back - Along Riley Street.
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Anonymous said...

Very sad. What potential that home had. Must of been very nice in its day. Keep up the good work Mayor Doolittle!Maybe you can build another "victorian" in its place.There needs to be some fresh faces and ideas in Buffalo.Get that asshole and his city hall bozo schmuks outa there. No wonder so many pack up and leave.Than again who voted the clown into office?

Anonymous said...

If it is privately owned is there a code enforcement office in Buffalo that maybe can cite owners for property violations before it comes to this? It seems as tho many city people in Buffalo get a paycheck to do nothing. The condition of this building didnt happen overnight it took years to get this way.Where I come from code enforcement would have been all over the owner fines and all till the eyesore was addressed. What do they do in Buffalo? Well actually i can see what they do. Just look at Koons Ave and some of the other ghost town streets.

Craig said...

As an owner of 30 rental properties I have experience with Buffalo code enforcement. I am sure they were all over this, but the owner is likely someone who is out of state (maybe they even bought the property on Ebay). These type of buyers generally do not know what they are getting into and only see that they can get a house for under 10K or maybe even under 5K. When the reality sets in that they have to fix the property and it is going to cost them 20-40K and they have to properly manage the property they don't do any work. The City of Buffalo has had a very hard time enforcing anything against this type of owner. This is especially true if the owner is a corporation where a single neglected house is their only property. This is one of the major problems with the Buffalo property auction in October. They sell houses for cheap to folks that don't know what they are doing or sell houses to folks who buy a bunch of them and then list them on ebay. Anyways, my main point is that code enforcement can only do so much. A different solution needs to be found.

fix buffalo said...


The dynamic involving out of state investors is well documented and Judge Nowak's attempts to hold these owners accountable is laudable. However, that's not the case here. The owner of 70 Riley lives right next door.

I just got off the phone with the Dept. of Inspections. First time this place was written for court was 12/2007.

Right around the corner from this location is 1325 Michigan - scroll down to some recent blog posts about that. Same thing. Owner lives a few blocks away and the property was inspected for the first time 12/2007.

I've been calling the Dept. of Inspections on both properties on a regular monthly basis. 70 Riley for the last three years and 1325 for the last 12.

In both cases these properties are experiencing that all too familiar fate - 'demolition by neglect'. There are many reasons for this involving the nexus of capital flight, race and a deepening institutional neglect.

This is not to say that everything should be 'saved' yet the focus - in a very reasoned and measurable way - should be around existing assets, viable neighborhoods and new investment in city schools.

Instead we get the same old piecemeal non-strategic approach with Byron's 5x5 plan.

Anonymous said...

Like I said Inspections sat on their ass till 12/07 at which time homes already falling down. Why do nothing till than? They do a very poor job probably following in mayors "do nothing" footsteps. Its an outrage they get a paycheck for the little they seem to do.Worse if owners are there in Buffalo and something can actually be done if someone gets off their ass.

Anonymous said...

So if the guy that owns this property is right next store once this falls down couldn't he homestead the lot for a dollar? Maybe thats why he's letting it fall down?