Albion’s LDC acquires 2 houses, 1 to rehab and 1 to demolish

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – This house at 544 East State Street, pictured in January, will be transferred from Wells Fargo to a village-owned LDC which will seek proposals from developers to buy and renovate the house.

ALBION – The reactivated Albion Housing and Economic Development Corporation will soon have two houses in its control, with one to be rehabbed and the other to be demolished to open up 4.4 acres for development for possible patio homes on Caroline Street.

Albion Housing and Economic Development Corporation is a local development corporation with members appointed by the Village Board. Albion Mayor Dean London and Village Trustee Gary Katsanis serve on the LDC with real estate broker Jim Theodorakos, former mayor Ed Salvatore and former Gaines Town Supervisor Richard DeCarlo Sr.

The LDC last week voted to accept a house at 231 Caroline St. from Wells Fargo. The house is missing some windows, but it’s a solid structure that can be rehabilitated, Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti said.

He didn’t want to see a house that could be salvaged taken down, depriving the village of more tax base and revenue.

The LDC will put out a request for proposals (RFP) from developers to acquire and renovate the site.

The LDC also voted to accept a house that is part of a 4.4-acre property at 231 Caroline St. Hugh McCarthy is relinquishing the property to the village, Vendetti said.

The site has a big chunk of undeveloped land behind it, stretching back 858 feet from the road. Vendetti said the house should be demolished and an access road put in to make the land open for smaller patio homes.

There aren’t many spots left in the village for such a housing development, he said. The project could help the village attract more residents and tax base, Vendetti said.

He estimated it would cost about $20,000 to take down the house. The LDC and village should reach out to developers about the potential housing project, with developers putting in the access road.

Trustee Katsanis cast the lone vote on accepting the house from McCarthy. Katsanis said the village doesn’t have the funds in its budget for the house removal.

“The Village Board is scraping the bottom of the barrel here,” Katsanis said.

London said the village can pursue grants, donations and perhaps other funding to advance the project.

Vendetti said the project has potential to be a big boost for the village and residents looking for smaller houses.

“We could serve a need and develop new tax base for the community,” he said.