The message to the attorney representing 110 South Park owner Darryl Carr on February 5 was clear: “Mr. Carr needs to get off the pot.” Housing Court Judge Patrick M. Carney went on to say that the vacant and deteriorating building “needs to be sealed until Mr. Carr figures out what he’s going to do with it. What he’s going to do with it is either fix it or get rid of it.” The Court went on to say that the “alternative is to have a trial, find out whether or not Mr. Carr is guilty or not guilty and possibly fine him $15,000. I want it sealed up. Buttoned up by March the 19th.”
The parties were back in court this morning. With no visible work done on the property since the February hearing…wait for it…Carr is pleading guilty. Judge Carney announced that the City of Buffalo and Darryl Carr reached a plea agreement. Attorney James Milbrand said his client will enter a guilty plea for seven of nine charges, with sentencing scheduled for late June.
Carr provided stamped architectural drawings and said they will being the restoration of the corner building beginning this spring. They will submit an application to the Preservation Board for selective demolition of the middle structure along Illinois Street (below).
The City inspector will be going to the site today with Carr’s team to prepare getting the building in shape for rehab. Judge Carney told the room he cannot force Carr to allow members of the community inside, in reference to Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, History, Architecture and Culture, being present. He continued on to say he can only send police officers, law enforcement, and inspectors under his authority.
Judge Carney did let Tielman know that as a Preservation Board member, he will be in the building no later than May as part of his role in approving any development plan. The proposal consists of knocking down one structure, while saving two.
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. 110 South Park originally housed Muggeridge’s Steam Bakery which made hardtack for the Union army during the civil war.
Tielman stated the Board will not approve an application that demolishes any part of the building. Judge Carney said that Carr’s proposal is at the mercy of the City and Preservation Board.
This court case is about violations of which they have plead guilty. The Court’s sentencing may reflect any agreement (or lack of one) for preservation, reuse and development of the buildings.
The case will return to Housing Court on June 25 for sentencing.