If you’ve wandered around downtown Albany, as I was last week, you may have noticed that things are happening with the old city hall at Second Avenue and Broadalbin Street.
In short, what’s happening is that the Scott Lepman Company is moving along with its plan to rehabilitate the building and move its offices there.
I asked for an update, and Candace Ribera supplied it last week. She is Lepman’s development coordinator and said in an email:
The work at the old post office/city hall (which we also refer to as the Federal Building) right now will consist of prepping the building for exterior painting, the windows are having the lead-based paint removed on the seals and jambs so they will be ready for painting, and selective demolition is occurring on the interior of the building to expose the structure for our structural engineer.
The company has been based for years in the former Sears Roebuck warehouse at Water Avenue and Ferry Street. Lepman has said that once he can move the offices, he’d like to demolish the old Sears warehouse and maybe build a combination apartment block and hotel on the lot.
The Lepman organization has several things going on, besides the old city hall.
It has started work to save and remodel the former St. Francis Hotel, while completing the last touches on the Opera House apartments at 222 First Avenue S.E. An open house at the Opera House is set for Oct. 12.
Meanwhile on a Lepman-owned parcel on North Albany Road near the middle school, earth-moving machinery has been working on the fill placed there under a 2014 permit to raise the land above the level of a 100-year flood. No land-use application covering the site has been filed.
As for the old city hall, a reader complained the other day that it was a post office far longer than a city hall, so it should be called the old post office. How about we adopt the Lepman idea and start calling it the Federal Building instead. (hh)