A large "Now Leasing" sign was hung on the front of the Verizon Building -- also known as the current Troy City Hall -- this morning, in what is apparently the latest move in an increasingly hostile relationship between the city and building owner Sam Judge of 1776 Sixth Avenue, LLC.
City Economic Developer Vic Christopher posted a photo on Twitter
around 10 a.m. of a
cherry picker hanging the sign, which is about five times larger than the actual City Hall sign that hangs a few feet to the right.
Tensions between Judge and the city came to a head Tuesday when Judge attempted to leave an exit door at his property at 251 River Street. Problem is, the door exits into the active demolition site of the former city hall in Monument Square, and police were called to the scene -- as was Judge's attorney.
The city's lease at the Verizon Building expires at the end of the year (or the end of October, depending on who you ask), and Mayor Harry Tutunjian, following legislation approved by the City Council, did not sign a two-year lease renewal. Now, the City Council is working to move city hall to the Dauchy Building, a move that the administration and many downtown businesses are against.
City officials have long used the defense that a new lease agreement or purchase price for the Verizon building could be renegotiated instead of moving to the Dauchy Building, but this latest move by Judge demonstrates that negotiations may be harder to come by due to recent conflicts.
Meanwhile, contractors worked until after 8 p.m. Wednesday to make significant progress tearing down the rest of the former city hall, with City Engineer saying the building had to come down because it's half-demolished state posed a public safety issue.