Housing Court Judge Patrick M. Carney put it in simple terms Thursday morning: Darryl Carr, owner of 110 South Park Avenue, should “fix, sell, or redevelop” the property. Carr was not present in Housing Court but was represented by attorney James P. Milbrand. Milbrand told the judge that Carr was busy “meeting with developers.”
The City’s attorney evidenced photos taken from 2011 “showing a history of negligence” and no effort to protect, stabilize, or otherwise correct the violations.
Carney agreed, and ordered the eight code violations on the property be fixed by March 19 and the property be mothballed. The City inspectors provided a Preservation Brief from the Department of Interior for standards on mothballing an historic building. The judge acknowledged the historic importance of the property and wanted Carr to perform mothballing to those standards. Mothballing work, Carney wants it underway within 30 days, will be supervised by the City to ensure compliance.
The judge said that Carr has “been doing a very poor job of mothballing” the building and he only did mothballing at adjacent 118 South Park Avenue “with a gun to his head, and I believe I was holding the gun.”
Judge Carney, hearing that Carr has redevelopment plans for the site, wants to see a credible proposal. Carney said he needs a specific plan that shows construction this construction season and also needs to show evidence of financing. He noted that anyone can provide a plan saying “my nine-year old grandson can draw a plan, and it would probably be approved by the City” but any redevelopment plan given to the court has to be complete, specific, and follows the prerequisites outlined.
The judge noted the alternative is a trial and $15,000 fine in which the inspectors would file the code violations again and he would still be responsible for the corrections.
The properties at 110 and 118 South Park Avenue are the most iconic and most historically significant structures in the Cobblestone Historic District which was established in 1993 by the Buffalo Preservation Board and certified this past year by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the federal standards for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. 110 South Park, the subject of today’s court hearing, originally housed Muggeridge’s Steam Bakery which made hardtack for the Union army during the civil war.
A Buffalo Urban Development Corporation representative noted that they are willing to work with the owner or purchaser to review loan programs and incentives that are available to make the repairs and/or redevelopment possible.