One of two motels deemed uninhabitable following multiple code violations and an asbestos study was demolished last week under the town’s orders.
The Blu-Bell Motel owned by Alex Patel on Central Avenue in Colonie was finally torn down on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Supervisor Paula Mahan and other town officials were at the site as they waited for the utilities to be shut-off and the OK to be given before demolition could begin.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Mahan. “There’s been a lot of preparation work and a lot of going back-and-forth with the owners. I was about ready to jump into the bulldozer myself.”
Mahan said the Blu-Bell was torn down as an asbestos demolition, which means special precautions needed to be taken and the debris would be sent to the Albany Landfill, instead of Colonie. She said a typical asbestos report is around 10 to 15 pages, where the motel’s report was 150 pages long.
“It was becoming a hazard, and we were getting reports of people going into the building,” said Mahan. “We are glad this is coming down before anyone got hurt.”
In March, Patel accepted a plea deal with the Town of Colonie agreeing to the town’s offer of demolishing both motels in exchange for excusing more than $750,000 in fines from violations found in the Skylane and Blu-Bell. Patel plans to submit concept plans for new development on both properties.
According to the deal, Patel had to immediately apply for a demolition permit and file it with the town’s building department. The buildings had to be demolished within 90 days of approval depending on weather, possible asbestos removal, and time required for National Grid to possibly move power lines.
Along with excusing the fines, the town agreed that a separate apartment/manager’s office located on the Skylane property could remain on the site.
Town officials said the Skylane Motel should come down within the next few months following an asbestos survey. Once the Skylane is demolished there may be a small storage facility built, according to town attorney Michael Maggiulli. A retail center may go onto the Blu-Bell property.
The cost of the demolition had to be paid for by Patel. Mahan said she thought the price for a full asbestos demolition was around $100,000.
A new town law adopted by the Town Board last February states all plans to build a boarding facility in that area of Route 5 will be denied unless a special permit is obtained. Maggiulli has also previously said that Patel will be denied permission to build any future motels or hotels in the town.