40 Cottage Street

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2021, PBN

40 Cottage Street, Buffalo NY 14201

Owner

Physical Description

Current Condition

History

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • Preservation Buffalo Niagara is working with the City of Buffalo and Housing Court to see if this and other Chuck Dobucki properties can be removed from his possession. A warrant is out for his arrest. Several of his buildings have the City's notice of abandonment posted on them.
  • January 5, 2021: Housing Court Judge Patrick Carney named Preservation Buffalo Niagara receiver of the building. PBN: "We are very excited to share with you that this morning, Judge Carney signed the order designating PBN as the court-ordered receiver for 40 Cottage Street, located within the Allentown Historic District. This will allow PBN to make much needed repairs to a long-time deteriorating property that has been the source of ongoing problems within the Allentown community. While this work will be done as a pilot project, if successful, this will give the City of Buffalo a much needed new tool in combatting absentee owners who engage in the harmful practice of demolition by neglect. We are heartened by the City of Buffalo's willingness to engage in working through these issues, as well as Councilmember Nowakowski's tenacity in moving this effort forward. This type of creative advocacy and problem solving would not be possible without the support of our members."
  • October, 18, 2021: "PBN and Councilmember Nowakowski take Action on absentee landlords.

This morning Council Member Mitchell Nowakowski and Preservation Buffalo Niagara held a press conference attend by representatives of the Allentown Association to announce the first sale of property under PBNís groundbreaking Preservation Receivership Program. The property is at 40 Cottage Street in Allentown.
This program was designed to use long existing housing court laws to rescue at-risk historic properties from scofflaw investors and return them to productive community use. The Allentown Association and Project Slumlord have advocated use of these laws to thwart absentee landlords for several years.
Preservation Buffalo Niagara under the leadership of Executive Director Jessie Fisher worked with Fillmore Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski to take up the cause. Working closely for the past three years, their effort culminated today in the first successful listing of a property for sale to a buyer who will restore it for productive use. PBNís Preservation Receivership Program was established in 2020 to give housing court judges an alternative to demolition when an historic property has become severely deteriorated, and the owner cannot or refuses to make the necessary repairs. Rather than order an emergency demolition, the Judge can order emergency repairs to be made by a receivership organization. The receivership organization then makes the necessary repairs to the building and places a lien on the property equal to the cost of the repairs. If the owner does not repay the receivership organization within what the Court considers a reasonable amount of time, the receivership organization has the right to foreclose on the property and sell it in order to satisfy the lien.
In the case of 40 Cottage Street, which has two residential building structures, the absentee owner has remained current on taxes and Housing Court fines, but has never addressed the propertyís underlying problems and allowed it to fall into disrepair over the years. The buildings became so derelict that they became a safety hazard for the neighbors who live next door and their homes. With approvals by the City Attorney, Housing Court named PBN receiver of 40 Cottage Street. PBN invested dollars to stabilize and secure the buildings and the investment became a lien on the property. The absentee owner did not satisfy the lien, allowing PBN to foreclose and place the property for sale. PBN and itís realtor will accept offers and will ensure that any buyer also has the resources to renovate the properties and return them to active use.
Speaking at the press conference, Jonathan White, on behalf of the Allentown Association thanked Councilmember Nowakowski and Preservation Buffalo Niagara for working hard to bring this long awaited process to fruition. White commented that it will greatly benefit not only the immediate neighbors of 40 Cottage who have invested savings to restore and maintain their properties, but it sets a template that can be used in neighborhoods across the City to return neglected properties owned by out of town owners back to productive use and further enhance neighborhoods.
The owner of 40 Cottage Street owns four other properties in Allentown and it is hoped that todayís action will be repeated to restore those properties for residential occupancy."

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Added 2020-02-18 • Last changed 2021-10-18