The City of Troy is moving ahead with plans to tear down the former Leonard Hospital building in Lansingburgh.
Leonard Hospital closed more than two decades ago, and is nowadays regarded as a danger, a nuisance and an eyesore in north Troy. Looking to redevelop the 6.4-acre site, Democratic Mayor Patrick Madden says despite the failure of earlier attempts to breathe new life into the site at 74 New Turnpike Road, bids are being sought for demolition. "It is a very difficult piece of property to redevelop with the hospital on there. We've made a couple efforts at trying to find a developer who would reuse the structure, but because it's so expensive to retrofit it, you know just such a big, big building that we just couldn't find anybody, so in our estimation the land becomes much more valuable for redeveloping if we can remove the building."
Plans call for the building to be entirely gone by October 1st. Republican Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello says this "great news" that's long overdue. "The city council appropriated money a year and a half ago to begin that process. One of the drawbacks was the environmental and the asbestos that's present at the building. Developers really weren't quite sure of the timeline, so this addresses that issue. And the residents of Lansingburgh have lived with this blight for several years, so this is great news for the neighborhood."
The city has approved bonding authority up to $2 million for knocking the building down. Madden calls the 1960s-era structure an asbestos-laden eyesore. "...that will have to be abated before the demolition, so the requests for bids on the building includes both the remediation of the asbestos and then the demolition of the building."
Mantello adds "What we're hoping is for some type of multi-use housing and maybe some commercial development on the first floor. This is the first step in the process. I'm superpleased and I'm sure the folks of Lansingburgh are very pleased and we would also want to include the neighborhood and the Lansingburgh Community from point A and not wait for a developer to come forward to include those folks. And so it's really important just like Monument Square to include the folks from Lansingburgh in the process."
Madden says Troy is eager to move forward with the project to encourage new investment and growth in the city.