Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What to do with Newberry Square

All of us want to see the broken windows of the Newberry Square building replaced, and sooner rather than later. However, the building's owner Henry Ioannou claims that he just doesn't have the money. The windows were damaged by vandals last month and have remained boarded up ever since. Meanwhile Village codes enforcement officer Mike Piccolo has stayed on Mr. Ioannou's case, trying to get him to replace the $3,000 windows.

Ioannou maintains that the broken windows are a criminal matter and that for this reason he shouldn't have to pay to replace them until an investigation is completed. He does have a point; the person who is responsible for the damage is ultimately the one who should pay. However, this can happen whether or not Mr. Ioannou fixes the windows in the meantime. Naturally, this is what he should do.

Mr. Ioannou claims that he doesn't have money to fix the windows, that he barely has money for his utlity bills. More sympathetic, I could not be. However, instead of spending his scarce resources on an attorney fee, he ought to just pay to have his windows fixed. Something he's most likely going to have to do anyway.

Furthermore, why are all the commercial units vacant in this building? One has to wonder if maybe lowering the rent or maybe taking a more hands-on approach would attract and keep more commercial tenants in the old arcade-style building.

Clearly, allowing a community asset like this to sit vacant, with boarded up windows no less, is a travesty. Rather than a long, protracted legal battle between the Village and Mr. Ioannou, maybe something better can come out of this. Aren't there any civic-minded developers or groups that might step up and engage the community to find a better use for this historic building than to sit vacant covered in plywood for the forseeable future? If Ioannou is losing money operating the building, he should have no reason not to want to sell it, right?

There are a lot of opportunities for downtown redevelopment in an old arcade-style building such as this. I'd much rather see the discussion shift from how to get an absentee landlord to maintain the building to discussing various ideas for how the community should use this building. Henry Ioannou can do this as well, it doesn't matter who does it. Someone just have to be willing to put in the time and energy, and it may require a little something more than bottom-line thinking.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd donate $20 bucks to help him put in the windows if that would help. Are there 100 more people who would do the same?

Anonymous said...

I have a better idea! As I drove through town this morning, I noticed that, across the street and a bit farther west on Main was a storefront (JUST a storefront, I think) that, instead of windows, had plywood over the openings, painted white, and decorated with The head of a cow on one window, and the rear-end of a horse on the other. Since this solution is obviously acceptable to the town code enforcement officials, I think Mr. Ioannou should simply paint each section of plywood white, and then paint a horse’s ass on each one. Clearly this should be recognizable to all the town officials…
--The Mayor--

Anonymous said...

I'd donate $20 bucks to help him put in the windows if that would help. Are there 100 more people who would do the same.

He'd still be 1000 short. Maybe we can get the village to buy it back and move in and anchor the building.
---The Deputy Mayor---

Anonymous said...

Turn it into a welfare hospital for unwed mothers, raise the taxes and make it so. Set up some public housing units as well.

Anonymous said...

"how the community should use this building" Does there exist a community need to use this building/that can't be answered by utilization of other already-existing public facilities. Is the owner interested in this?

Code Name Avalon said...

"Turn it into a welfare hospital for unwed mothers, raise the taxes and make it so. Set up some public housing units as well."

Actually this could probably be done with a Restore NY (or some similar) grant.

But its a good idea because, there's gotta be quite a few apartment units up there. I wonder what kind of shape there in.

To me, restoring that building would be a worthy cause for our tax dollars.

Of course, I'm aware that your being sarcastic...just shows how different we think.

But that's okay, wouldn't be a very interesting blog otherwise.

Anonymous said...

didn't the Ivy League school teach you the proper use of the word "there" (what kind of shape there in), or the word "your" (your being sarcastic) or "different" (how different we think)...I'd ask for a refund of my tuition money if I were your parents...
But that's okay, (it) wouldn't be a very interesting blog otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"civic-minded developers"...what an oxymoron. Geez Louise. Ioannou pleads poverty to repair the windows on a building he's trying to sell for a shade under 700 grand. Well, certainly can't deny the entertainment value of that, can one. Buh-bye.

Code Name Avalon said...

"didn't the Ivy League school teach you the proper use of the word "there" (what kind of shape there in), or the word "your" (your being sarcastic) or "different" (how different we think)...I'd ask for a refund of my tuition money if I were your parents...
But that's okay, (it) wouldn't be a very interesting blog otherwise."

This from someone who apparently feels no need to capitalize the first letter of a sentence.

I can't believe I'm responding to this, but its 5 in the morning and I'm apparently as bored as you are.

So here's the thing, I occasionally like to misuse or mispell a few words when I'm dealing with you simple folk. I just don't want to intimidate with my fancy Ivy League language. Otherwise, people might accuse of seeming elitist, and we don't want that now do we?

But seriously, do you realize we've been going back and forth like this for nearly nine months!

You are the retiree, right?

I guess trying to keep up with this is keeping your mind agile.

Anonymous said...

I didn't capitalize my previous post because it was not intended as a sentence, only a short quip.
You profess to have attended an “Ivy League” school, use such words as: amorphous, couched, and (among others) zeitgeist (the last of which I admit I had never come across before, and had to look-up), all words which are not frequently used in everyday language, yet you misuse words that an eighth-grader would be expected to use properly. You claim that no one else writes your posts, yet some, particularly your replies, appear to be written by a “D” student in the eighth grade. Anyone can review his own writings and use a thesaurus to find just the right word, but a quickly posted reply gives way more insight into a person’s education. The reply of yours, which I just criticized, shows such inept use of the English language that I have to believe there is a sham here. Perhaps the sham occurred at whatever grammar school you attended, but I suspect there is more to it than that. Frankly, I really don’t care, but just know that not everyone buys it. Perhaps “pseudo-intellectual” is a much more appropriate term for you than elitist. I probably wouldn’t even react here, if it weren’t for the fact that the socialist tripe that you spew in this blog makes me want to puke.
--The Mayor--

Anonymous said...

Perhaps “pseudo-intellectual” is a much more appropriate term for you than elitist.


I love it. Slam dunk Mr. Mayor. Can we get you to run for public office. Instead of the "Community Matters" party you should start the "Common Sense Matters" party. We need people like you.

The deputy mayor.

The Deputy Mayor

Geoffrey of Monmouth said...

If this is not emblematic of how inept our village board is. This is not the Golan Heights. If I was Harry Iannou I'd tell the judge "I will promise to fix my windows when the village board fulfills their promise of new sidewalks downtown!!!!!!!

Code Name Avalon said...

"I didn't capitalize my previous post because it was not intended as a sentence, only a short quip."

No, I believe that you were so poorly educated that you lack even a rudimentary grasp of proper sentence structure.

Wow, calling someone an idiot because they made a typographical error feels really good and really adds strength to my argument!

But seriously, all that crap you just posted above...if you believed any of it, you would have stopped reading this blog and participating in the discussions a long time ago.

I mean, you can't really be that pathetic and desperate, can you....?

Anonymous said...

Ioannou was wathching one of those "flip" this house shows when he bought the Newberry building. He saw all the dollars made in a couple of weeks ($$$$$$). The only thing he missed was those people put in lots of work and money before they saw a profit. I see that ACE is having a sale on paint. His only tenant is a government agancy and Ioannou says the corporation has no insurance or money. OMG!!! The taxpayers get nailed again. Get those people out now before someone gets hurt. Ioannou yells the Village does nothing to help him, well I think it is about time he helped himself. To paraphrase JFK, ask not what your Village can do for you but, what you can do for your Village. "Harry" clean up your property and I bet it will sell.

Code Name Avalon said...

"If this is not emblematic of how inept our village board is"

I'm not really sure how this particular situation relates to the Village Board, whether they are inept or not.

This issue has to do with a building owner's failure to maintain his property. So far it has been handled through the appropriate channels, none of which involve the Village Board of Trustees.

The sidewalk issue may be a valid point, but it doesn't have anything to do with the broken windows.

"Ioannou was wathching one of those "flip" this house shows when he bought the Newberry building. He saw all the dollars made in a couple of weeks ($$$$$$)."

Let's be fair to Mr. Ioannou; I'm not sure exactly what his expectations or interests were in the Newberry Square building.

A big part of his inability to attract tenants and maintain the building has to do with the long-term economic deterioration of Upstate NY's town and village centers.

The attitudes of certain current officials who want to extend water and sewer services to big box retailers on the fringes of the community don't help either.

If Ioannou had the clout of a Wal-Mart or the connections of a Galasso he'd get a nice tax abatement and easily be able to afford to fix his windows and maybe even make rents more reasonable too!

Anonymous said...

If I can momentarily deviate from the very interesting topic and ask a question to the populace that may be in the know. The shady tree bridge is still closed according to the Coby highway dept.
When they closed it last fall, they said that they did not want large plows during the winter (not sure why they can’t use a smaller truck, but anyway) and had plans to re open in April. On calling highway I was informed that it will now be closed for indefinitely. Any ideas as to the logic and or masterminds behind this. For me its 8 extra miles of commute a day (40 per week) so you can see where I’m going. Thanks for any info.

Roger Conned said...

For me its 8 extra miles of commute a day (40 per week) so you can see where I’m going.

where are going to and from? Maybe there is a shortcut we can help you with. 8 mile detour seems a bit much. It is a county bridge. The town has no say in the closure.
I saw on tv that it was flagged for safety issues. It is estimated to cost nearly a million dollars to replace it. What a waste of money!!!! Put a cul de sac at each end And give the 7000 residents 140 check. That should get you around 40 gallons of gas at todays price. 1 fillup on an suv or pickup. Cant pass that up.

Anonymous said...

Here is the best idea for Newberry Square, and if implemented I can guarantee a steady tax roll for the village, an awakening of main street, a heaven for peoples stimulus money, diversity, new elite, developing professions, etc. Have an Indian tribe turn it into a casino.

Anonymous said...

A casino? Nah...Howzabout turning it into a "Roosevelt and Main"-style "Bodyrub Palace" staffed by young, attractive "hostesses"? It's location certainly makes it convenient for the "Gridlock Up N Down Route 145" Cavalcade of Big Coach Buses that will be stopped and spewing fumes 24/7/365 there at that intersection anyway...they won't even have to pull over, just let the "clients" out and back on later B4 the light changes! Hey, don't sweat the traffic, Mr. Self-Appointed Mayor (and his "Deputy", too!)...you guys live close enough to WALK. HOW FABULOUS! Heart, "It's 'secret' for a reason"

Anonymous said...

The crickets are really chirping around here lately. Yo, "dizzonor the Self-Appointed Mayor", where you at? Training for those long walks, perhaps? Abandoning those inane kevy "bashes" (he inevitably gets the best of you, anyway) in favor of starting your search engine(s)? What, too "cryptic nonsense" for you? Too bad, ├žuz otherwise you could find things like the following: "Jody Zakrevsky reported on the huge Sharon Springs project. (Aside to the Maxwell Smart of Mineral Springs Road: "Mr. Billycars" will be calling you directly about the unauthorized use of the word "huge".)He stated that they ("they" who?)are working with another investment group that is considering joining the original investment group. This investment group is one of the largest touring companies in the world. They met together last month."---fmsworkforcesolution.org/meetings.html...July 11, 2007 Annual Board Meeting Minutes Raindancer Restaurant, Amsterdam yadda yadda yadda...Wow. Not just daily Dongbu Tour bus convoys, but somebody else's, too. Sounds like a real "Bus-apalooza". Poor residents of Cobleskill, Schoharie, Central Bridge, and esp. Middleburgh. You know, time has passed, and the shock of the "NEW(Adler)", and the rest of it, for me anyway, has turned into...indifference. Go ahead, make a morass of the crevasse. (shrug.) It's now just all about your unsuspecting neighbors being thrown under the bus....in closing, would like to say it's been fun. But hey, I've got dishes piled in the sink, and my smart, snarky adolescent is bouncing around the place singing that "F*cking McCain" ditty. I have such an overwhelming urge to...join in. Ciao baby.

Anonymous said...

DOH! (no, not that Doh! :))...fmsworkforcesolutions.org/meetings.html...July 11, 2007. Such a sense of Deja Vu...heart the Valley always.

Anonymous said...

The crickets are really chirping around here lately.

You write like your smoking criquets.

Anonymous said...

(sigh)...can anyone explain the following..."this warning message appears with search results we've identified with sites that may install malicious software on your computer". This caveat popped up on my latest Google of the words "Jody Zakrevsky Sharon Springs" attached to a rather longstanding link to an article outlining the "250" in "The Richfield Springs Mercury". It never appeared on that link b4. Folks, be careful out there. --- Valley 4ever

Anonymous said...

The roof on Selkirks is falling off and no one says anything to John Selkirk about it!!!! I guess it all depends on how RICH you are that anything get said to you about it.

Anonymous said...

"The roof on Selkirks is falling off and no one says anything to John Selkirk about it!!!! I guess it all depends on how RICH you are that anything get said to you about it."

That might be because John Selkirk doesn't own the building anymore. Y'think that might be the reason?

Huh?

Anonymous said...

The village and the mustachioed villain have already spent 3500 in attorney fees. Not to mention the time of the Judge,CEO,Police,clerk and the morans who have responded to this pathetic blog. Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings would have had glass in those windows the next day and had it on snidely whiplashes taxes, but oh I forgot we have a tweenie something as a Mayor. Cobleskill's experiment in diaper diplomacy is well deserved. The electors in the village are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Yes he does.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this particular "moran" feels the time they've given to reading/responding to this Awesome blog was time (FARE THEE) WELL spent. So, you certainly do not speak 4 me, and if you continue 2 presume that you think(?) you do...then maybe you should "self-resign". Really.

Anonymous said...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Moran&defid=1303800

Anonymous said...

LOL!:D I know a "moran" from a "moron"...So, taking a pass on yer uh, link there. It's now my "Schadenfreude" that wants to engage in some "idle speculation": do you, hopefully, or someone close to you, occupy a residence fronting on or near Route 30? Don't REALLY want to know...but (heh, heh) sure DO HOPE SO.

Anonymous said...

On Second Thought...Never mind the "occupy", just substitute "own"...'cuz when da "Three Bs" (as in "Big Buses Blastin'")be by, bend over and kiss yer what, property values, way of life, bye-bye? ---Hausfrau from Heck

Anonymous said...

Hey, YOU particular "moran

what's worse a person who can't spell or one to lazy to spell.

4 ever 4 now is 2b a LOoSER

Anonymous said...

It appears there must be a couple of villages out there missing their town idiots.

Anonymous said...

Better to be an "idiot" than an "ostrich".---"Cheneyoke"

Anonymous said...

"4 ever 4 now is 2b a LOoSER"...and now it is "SIMPLE-ly" obvious that you are "old man crazy". :P ---No Big Stewpot 4 this "biatch", cuz I'm "feral"...don't even try to catch.

Anonymous said...

We need new material. Get off your lazy duff and pen some more dribble so we all can piss and moan.

Anonymous said...

Got new?...like in a barrel of crude went up 10 bucks today. Informed of this via the "six o'clock" and tore out of the house to top off the ol' tank. Lucky me, the price was the still same as of this a.m.; they evidently hadn't gotten "the call" yet. Once again, "thanks a lot" to the Preeminate Moron, and his "buddy boys", too.---Mama 4 Obama

Anonymous said...

www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/nyregion/o5.sharonhtml/?ref=nyregion. Or, simply Google "korean investors sharon springs". 350 Million. How, well, HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. (Apologies 2 da Fucillo Dude). Well, only wanted to say, I'm NOT surprised.---Just because the cafe' has "Cat" in its name, doesn't mean they SERVE cat.

Anonymous said...

Oh, just one more thing "b4" I go: Hey, Mr. "Self-Appointed Mayor": still think it's all a bunch of "cryptic nonsense" now? ---.....