BUFFALO, N.Y. — What neighbors have called a “health risk,” an “annoyance” and an “eyesore” in Buffalo’s Seneca-Babcock neighborhood has started being demolished.
City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspections Commissioner Cathy Amdur made the announcement Monday after she said the owner of the Battaglia Demolition building first abandoned the structure in 2018 and then left it unattended after a major fire last year.
The steel structure of the building was torn down and several truckloads of material were removed from the site according to neighbors on Peabody Street Monday night.
Back in April, two common council members acted and urged a judge to do something about the building, and then in June, a judge ruled in favor of demolition and the city proceeded to bid the project out.
Amdur said the entire demolition process should take around two weeks and will include the removal of 40 truckloads of debris from the site located at 1037 Seneca Street. The building can be seen on your right-hand side while driving North on the 190 toward the city.
“Battaglia Demolition has stalled at every opportunity from cleaning up this site and our building inspectors have worked and worked through the court system to get to where we are today where this will be cleaned up and taken down to restore some calm and peace to this neighborhood,” said Amdur.
The building was used as part of a concrete crushing operation which the owner Peter Battaglia Jr. is also being sued over. Amdur explained how the City of Buffalo has fronted the $143,000 required to pay for the demolition and plans to bill Battaglia for the cost.
2 On Your Side attempted to reach Peter Battaglia Jr. and his attorney Mark Sanchez but did not hear back by the time this story was posted.
Amdur added that the city's legal department is prepared to get that money back if Battaglia does not pay and reassured neighbors about various safety measures that will be taken over the two-week process.
“With a combination of following every regulation that is necessary for a situation like this, we are wetting it down, there is air monitoring and with our inspector here every day we will make sure the neighbors on Peabody Street are comfortable with what's going on,” Amdur said.
Neighbors like Diane Lemanski told 2 On Your Side Monday night that while this is a step in the right direction, there is much more work to be done. Lemanski will be in court later this August as Battaglia faces legal action for the concrete crushing business he operated near the site.