Churchill: Property owners explain Cohoes retaliates after sales refusals

April 11, 2016 - Picnic Time

  • Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016 in Cohoes, N.Y.  (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union) Photo: Michael P. Farrell / 10035339A




Before that terrible glow on Friday night, Cohoes was enjoying an certainly certain month.

First, there was a Palace Theatre agreement to work Cohoes Music Hall, a understanding approaching to pierce a tide of peculiarity shows to a moribund theater.

Then there was a Hillary Clinton revisit to Cohoes High School. Love or disgust her, there’s no ignoring a fad of carrying a expected subsequent boss revisit your city.

So trust me when we contend that we don’t wish to shower sleet on a city’s picnic. Though I’ve created critically of new Mayor Shawn Morse, we would adore to be entrance to we with another certain Cohoes story.

But we got a phone call Thursday that we couldn’t ignore.

It was from a male who pronounced John Nolan, owners of a Spindle City Market on Ontario Street, was being tormented by a city since he refused to sell a downtown building to a Cohoes Industrial Development Agency, that Morse heads.

Nolan pronounced a same when we reached him by telephone.

“Morse has been removing intensely assertive about removing a building from me,” Nolan said. “He’s putting formula coercion on me.”

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Contact Chris Churchill during 518-454-5442 or email

That’s a critical claim, obviously. If true, it would be an abuse of supervision power.

The building is 57 Remsen St., a empty structure nearby a Music Hall that once housed Calkins Pharmacy. Nolan has owned it for about 3 years, he said.

The IDA recently offering Nolan $120,000 for a building, Nolan said, as partial of an apparent devise to rehabilitate it and repackage it for an investor. Nolan refused a offer.

That’s when he was cited by Melissa Cherubino, a city building and formulation director, for a damaged window during a building, he said.

Nolan bound it. He was afterwards cited for correct a window though a building permit. That’s right — in Cohoes, we need a $50 assent usually to correct a damaged glass, as Cherubino confirmed.

That’s ridiculous. You should be means to make a elementary correct though a city examination we like a hawk sport for mice.

But Nolan played along and practical for a assent — usually to have it denied since he wasn’t approved in lead abatement. That assured Nolan he was being punished for refusing to sell a building.

“It’s really intimidation,” Nolan told me. “But I’m not going to be intimidated.”

Now, we have to tell we that Nolan, who owns a handful of buildings in downtown Cohoes, is not a ideal skill owner. By his possess admission, his battles with Cherubino started before Morse became mayor.

“This is not a chairman who is being singled out,” Cherubino said. “This is a chairman who has had a tough time following a rules.”

I talked to Mike Jacobson, a city’s new conduct of mercantile development. He reliable a city had done an offer on a building, though pronounced he had supposed Nolan’s rejection to sell.

“I have a integrate of developers who would be peaceful to take it on and spin it into something,” Jacobson said. “But there’s zero specific planned.”

Without a doubt, a city has been assertive about mercantile growth underneath Morse, partly by attempting to acquire and total properties for redevelopment.

There are signs of success, including a designed acclimatisation of a aged Cohoes Hotel and adjoining properties into high-end apartments, that is no tiny pointer of swell for Remsen Street.

But I’ve created stories about other aspects of a Morse administration — we won’t get into them again here — that didn’t greatfully a new mayor. The final time we spoke with Morse he told me to “lose his number.”

I still have it! we called him once again.

Morse seemed confused by Nolan’s complaints, though pronounced all a right things. He denied there was nuisance and voiced wish that Nolan would be a large partial of a city’s brighter future.

Morse can be a impressive guy, and in all honestly, we was prepared to pierce on to another mainstay subject after articulate to him. It was unfit to say, definitively, that Nolan was being targeted since a city wanted his building.

Then we spoke with Anthony Vaccarielli.

Vaccarielli owns a room during 339 Saratoga St., another skill a city would like to acquire for redevelopment. Vaccarielli hasn’t been generally fervent to sell.

Guess what? He has also been cited for formula violations that he believes are retaliation.

Cherubino again denied a allegation, though we have dual skill owners, in opposite tools of a city, creation a same complaint.

Is that a coincidence? Or a settlement of intimidation?


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