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County Land Bank Eyeing Biker Bob’s Demolition

The former Biker Bob location on Central Avenue in Dunkirk will be coming down. Photo by Anthony Dolce

The demolition of the former Biker Bob’s business in Dunkirk has been scheduled.

Gina Paradis, Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. executive director, said she discussed the commercial demolition with the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. board during its meeting earlier this month. She said it’s one of the last commercial demolitions the land bank will be handling this year.

“It’s a row building and those are always complicated,” she said. “Part of a row building collapsed on the other side of it in 2015. This building was also damaged in the collapse and never repaired.”

Paradis said the building was vacant for awhile and the land bank was able to acquire the property after the owner, Bob Valvo, died.

“We finally acquired it and we’ve scheduled the demolition,” she said. “That (building) will finally be coming down.”

On Sept. 30, 2015, the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry building collapsed at 123 Central Ave., the northernmost of the eight parcels comprising the Coburn Block. No one was injured during the incident. In October 2015, 123 Central Ave. was demolished by Hannah Demolition Inc. of Buffalo.

In other business:

¯ The board approved the disposition of vacant side lots to adjacent property owners. Paradis said the side lots included properties on Hall Avenue and Barrows Street in Jamestown and Columbus and Hoyt streets in Dunkirk. She said the land bank often tries to transfer a vacant lot to an adjacent property owner after a demolition.

“It usually takes awhile after the demolition because of the tax cycles,” she said about transferring the property to an adjacent property owner. “If we transferred the property immediately, (the new owner) would pay taxes like there is still a house on the property. We wait until it is reassessed as a vacant lot then we transfer it to the new owner.”

Paradis said when a neighboring owner submits an application to acquire a lot where a demolition has happened, the board takes into consideration if the resident helped keep the abandoned property looking nice.

“Often times it’s a neighbor who has been maintaining the lot when the house was vacant,” she said. “We take into consideration if someone has been mowing the yard. We take that into consideration when we get the proposals.”

¯ The board approved the sale of a property on Newton Avenue in Jamestown. Paradis said the land bank acquired the property in the Chautauqua County Tax Foreclosure Auction and discovered it was still occupied. She said the land bank doesn’t like to acquire properties that are still occupied. She added that the land bank agreed to sell the property to CODE Inc., a housing agency in Jamestown, who will work with the resident so they can continue living in the house.

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