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McVeigh to expand parking, demolish house

September 19, 2011

by Kayla Matteo

McVeigh’s current lot and 506 Bradford St. (Kayla Matteo)

Owners of the McVeigh Funeral Home on North Allen Street plan to demolish a vacant single-family home at 506 Bradford St. in order to expand the funeral home parking lot. The plan was approved Monday night by members of the Albany Common Council. Only one member voted against the resolution.

Proposed to the council by member Michael O’Brien, the resolution will allow for McVeigh

McVeigh Funeral Home on North Allen Street (Kayla Matteo)

Funeral Home to demolish the Bradford Street residential building owned by the Allen Street Association, which also owns McVeigh.

The property at 506 Bradford St., on the northern outskirts of the Pine Hills neighborhood, was valued at $111,000 earlier this year on the Albany tax assessment rolls. According to  O’Brien, the Bradford Street house has been vacant for at least five years. The exit and entrance to the funeral home would remain the same and some shrubbery would be moved to block other possible entrances that would be made during construction.

O’Brien said at the  council meeting that most of the members of the Beverwyck Neighborhood Association greeted the proposal with overwhelming support. He also checked with the two neighboring homeowners that would be affected to be sure that they approved of the decision. “McVeigh’s facility is viewed as having a very good effect on this portion of Allen Street and its residents,” O’Brien said.

The house to be demolished at 506 Bradford St. (Kayla Matteo)

However, one Council Member objected to the plan to expand the parking lot through demolition. Council Member Dominick Calsolaro said that knocking down buildings to make parking lots is wrong, and that there is enough of it happening already. He cited the demolition of 13 residential buildings in the Pine Hills by The College of Saint Rose this year as one of his main arguments.

“People can’t live in a parking lot, but they can live in a house,” said Calsolaro. While he was the only council member to vote against the proposal, he wasn’t alone. Pine Hills resident Jessie Rosenthal, an attendee at Monday night’s meeting said, “Don’t just knock down a house. Do something with it. Make a community garden out of it, something!” However, according to O’Brien, the residence at 506 Bradford St. is currently uninhabitable and would need extensive renovations to be livable.

No demolition date has been announced -30-

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