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Emergency demolition to be done in downtown Elmira
Written By: Samantha Potter
ELMIRA (WENY) Big changes are happening in Elmira... And its starting with the demolition of two run down buildings.The city of Elmira has called for an emergency demolition of the Rosenbaum and Marvin buildings after the roof caved in last week.
Demolition is to begin at the Rosenbuams and Marvins building in Elmira and the city says it could take up two weeks to be completed. City leaders tell me they're frustrated the buildings were never brought back to life.
“The building has become in such disrepair and dilapidated we're concerned about their structural integrity at this point. So we wanna make sure we remove them before they come down on their own,” says city manager Kimberlee Balok Middaugh.
After crumbling buildings sent bricks crashing onto the sidewalk on West Water street, Elmira city officials became increasingly concerned about the danger of building collapse and injuries to bystanders.
“We noticed a little over a week ago that the roof on the building had collapsed on the third floor. As the city crews and engineer and code department began investigating they found they third floor had pancaked into the second floor which began pancaking into the first floor,” says Brent Stermer, second district councilman.
Owner Uri Kaufman is accused of abandoning the building and not taking responsibility for the damages. The city has now hired LCP Group Incorporated, of Vestal, to tear the buildings down.
George Milumich, a long time Elmira resident, says he remembers Christmas shopping in downtown Elmira, and even bought a diamond ring for his wife at Rosenbaum's. He now refers to that same area that was once full of life as a ghost town.
Meantime, City leaders say they are hopeful this will open up the doors for redevelopment and new opportunities for businesses.
“Hopefully, once that sites clear maybe we"ll be able to develop it into something else. I'm not sure what yet but I've talked to people in the business community as well as some movers and shakers and their all trying to come up with some ideas,” says Stermer.