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65 Grant Street

  At Risk      Watch List      Sold      Demolition By Neglect  


65 Grant Street
65 Grant Street
65 Grant Street, April 14, 2014

October 27, 2014

January 8, 2015

June 18, 2015 - fire damage is to units on the right, the south end of the building

Initial drawings of renovation
http://www.preservationready.org/Buildings/65GrantStreet?action=download&upname=65GrantOctober2016.jpg
Photo credit: Hilda Peth, Grant-Ferry on Facebook, Kathleen Kinan, Micah Winship

Location

65 Grant Street, Buffalo NY 14213

Owner

  • Wadkin LLC
  • Longtime owners: Young K. Paik and Okhee Paik dba 65 Grant Street LLC. Online property records show the Paiks bought the building in 1980 from Allan H. Smith, who bought it in 1974. The Paiks created "65 Grant Street LLC" in 2012 and transferred ownership to that corporation. The address listed for the LLC is 143 Chasewood Lane, E. Amherst NY 14051, a building owned by the Paiks. They are current on County property taxes as far back as 2003.

Physical Description

  • Two-story yellow brick commercial building.
  • Five storefronts, four second-floor apartments.
  • One of a number of buildings making up continuous intact streetfronts on Grant Street between Ferry and Breckenridge.

Current Condition

  • Vacant and boarded.
  • Facade damage (collapsed brick facing) April 14, 2014. The City of Buffalo installed concrete "Jersey barriers" along the Grant Street front, causing pedestrians to walk in the street. Some remedial work was started on the cornice but not completed, and earlier minor work was started on at least one of the storefronts.
  • Fire on June 17, 2015.
  • July 2017: Undergoing renovation/restoration.

History

  • Neglected for many years. Owned during that time by former physician Young K. Paik, who used only a small office in the building, frequently leaving the rest vacant and usually unsecured and with numerous code violations.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • April 14, 2014: A fifteen foot wide section of bricks above the second floor windows collapsed onto the Grant Street sidewalk - see photos.
  • June 17, 2015 - Buffalo News: "A fire Wednesday morning caused an estimated $100,000 damage to a Grant Street building, which is facing demolition because the structure was compromised. Fire officials reported that the fire began on the first floor of the two-story, mixed-use building, and extended into the basement and second floor."
  • June 18, 2015 - Sean Mulligan, Common Council Staffer: "Council Member Rivera and I met with the Commissioner of Permits & Inspections this morning and were assured no demolition will take place before next week's hearing. An Emergency Board-Up has been requested to ensure no further damage or illicit use occurs. The goal of next week's hearing will be to request time to find a suitable buyer for the building in order to avoid demolition." "I'd encourage anyone interested in seeing this property improved to attend and request serious steps be taken to get necessary repairs made by the owner. If you are unable to attend, but would like to submit something in writing, feel free to send to me at smulligan@city-buffalo.com and I'll get it to Housing Court."
  • June 25, 2015: Notes from Housing Court hearing -
    • Judge Carney held forth for about half an hour and heard from a number of people. He seemed to be fully aware of community concerns.
    • Inspections and Fire recommend demolition. This is par for the course. An "emergency" demolition could take place within five days of the judge OKing it.
    • Estimate of demolition cost is around $150,000. This possible charge to Mrs. Paik appears to have her frightened.
    • The Court walked through the building (in a manner of speaking) yesterday, with representatives from PUSH, one or more developers and architects, the Paik's attorney.
    • Judge assessed the building as "first floor in bad shape, with water damage; second floor surprisingly good; roof and back wall in bad condition."
    • Judge thought that, in the case of demolition, "a flat piece of land" would be valuable and would be developed.
    • Judge warned that any purchaser would be forced by him to remediate the safety issue with the barriers in the street.
    • Wild estimate of money needed to bring the building up to code is $600,000.
    • David Rivera spoke to the past history, seven years in his case, of numerous promises from Mrs. Paik but never any actual progress toward repairs or sale.
    • The Paik's attorney said there are "at least four" possible buyers.
    • Judge is reconvening the case on July 9, morning session, and wants to see "contracts and checks" from buyers/developers. Otherwise, demolition.
  • July 9, 2015 - Looks like a WIN! A buyer has stepped forward and is making a proposal acceptable to all parties - the Judge, the Mayor, Councilmember Rivera, the Paiks. Judge Carney issued a 30-day ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal), at the end of which period, if the deal is still in order, the Paiks are off the hook and the building is in new hands.
    • 'The owner of the property, Dr. Young Paik reached a tentative agreement Thursday with Niagara Falls developer Watkins LLC to purchase the property. The final purchase price won't be revealed until the fine details of the deal are worked out.' TWC News
  • July 2015 - Chris Schmidt, Buffalo Rising, July 29, 2015: "65 Grant Street has a new owner. Wadkin LLC paid $60,000 for the neglected property today. The Niagara Falls-based development firm purchased the property from Young K. Paik and Okhee Paik’s 65 Grant Street LLC."
    • Architect Kathleen Kinan will oversee the design of the building's renovation.
  • December 2015 - 'Some work is underway to prevent additional water from entering the building while the building is on a holding pattern, as the formal rehab process is reviewed by SHPO for approval. Also, a NY Main Street Grant had been secured, which will cover the cost of 20-25% of the project.' Buffalo Rising
  • July 2017 - Assemblymember Sean Ryan will move his district office to the building.

Other Pertinent Facts

  • 2014 - Patty MacDonald: "The owners (former physician Young K. Paik and his wife Okhee Paik) have appeared in Housing Court 42 times since 2009. How effective can COB Housing Court be if the picture above is the result of 40 plus appearances?"
  • Young K. Paik was made to surrender his medical license in 2011 by the State of New York. The building-related offenses that lead to his license revocation include (from the revocation order): "Respondent, from on or about December 2007 to on or about March 2010 at his Grant Street office, had no supply of running water supplied to his office generally, examination rooms, lavatory sinks or toilets; did not use water for hand washing or medically related purposes; and utilized towelettes in lieu of running water to provide hand sanitation in his Grant Street office." More details at Young K. Paik License Revocation Order (pdf).

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Added 2013-11-22 • Last changed 2017-07-16