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Ploof answers back

April 28, 2010

By Abbey Bull, Elizabeth Corey, Courtney Difiore, Caitlin Farrell, Jennifer Finn, Kathy Kinnin, Heather Martin, Taylor Merrihew, Caitlin Nickerson, Zachary Olsavicky, Stephanie Schuyler, R.J. Tamburri, and Candice Varetoni

ALBANY –  The latest Roger Ploof property to come under fire  – this one in the Pine Hills neighborhood – is for sale. The apartment building at 32 South Allen St. is on the market for $340,000. Ploof ‘s Park South Real Estate paid $331,000 for the house in 2007.

Ploof told The Pine Hills blog Wednesday that he intends to sell all of his 31 city

32 South Allen Street, Albany

properties in the next three or four years, leave the Capital Region, and move south. He also owns properties in New Jersey and Florida, he said.

City officials are currently weighing whether or not to require his 32 South Allen building to be converted to a two-family home from the seven apartments that are rented out there now. The Zoning Board of Appeals has not yet ruled on a request by some neighbors to revoke his permission to rent out so many units, said Bradley Glass, from the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

Ploof, who has been a landlord in the city for 30 years, said he had never before been fined for a code violation.

“My building is in the best shape on the block,” said Ploof.

He thinks a lot of the problems stem from the fact that many of his tenants are either low income,  subsidized through social services, or, rely on Section 8 housing. He said he does not discriminate when he rents his property and that many of those who complain about his properties are hypocritical.

Complaints concerning this particular property have been mounting. Last week the Times Union reported that there were 88 emergency calls to the site last year.

“It’s been nothing major – if I heard that they were selling drugs, I would do two things,” he said. “Number one, I would find out if it’s true, and if it was, I would call the cops.”

In fact, some of the calls have likely come from tenants who have been sick and needed emergency services, he said.

“Most people don’t complain to me,,” he said.  He questioned where the nuisance calls to the police have come from. “It can’t be that big of a problem.”

Several residents who live on the street and were home spoke with student journalists.

“It’s usually pretty quiet in this neighborhood,” said James Evans, who lives two houses down from #32. When he is home in the evenings he said he does not hear any noise that he would characterize as disruptive.

Another South Allen resident, Mohammed Manik, said he sees a lot of people outside of 32 South Allen. He said there are often police cars there and that he does hear noise from the property, but usually the neighborhood is quiet. -30-

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