Walden property faces demolition

By Jared Castañeda
Posted 3/13/24

The Village of Walden board, after waiting a month, is prepared to order demolition of a building at 3537 North Montgomery Street after its owner failed to repair the property.

The property, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Walden property faces demolition


The Village of Walden board, after waiting a month, is prepared to order demolition of a building at 3537 North Montgomery Street after its owner failed to repair the property.

The property, previously a four-family dwelling, has deteriorated over several years from abandonment and weather, resulting in poor stability and a surplus of debris. The village board, before January 2, recognized the property as a safety hazard and reached out to the owner for further discussion.

During the village’s January 2 meeting, the board held a hearing with Andrea Vivenzio, the owner, who bought the property about 11 months ago, to discuss how he would address the building’s conditions and why the board should not take action to demolish it. Vivenzio prefaced that he received the village’s letter to appear on short notice and was occupied with restoring his apartment building in Maybrook after a fire occurred.

“I didn’t do much at the beginning because I had another project that I was working on,” Vivenzio said. “I had a fire in my apartment building in Maybrook and I just got that done right now. So I was a little preoccupied with that.”

As of that meeting, Vivenzio cleaned up a majority of the building’s garbage and obtained a demo permit. He agreed to stabilize the building’s structure, secure all hazards, and work with an engineer to devise a plan and time frame. The board requested that he return in a month with updates on his progress.

“I did talk to the village manager about three months ago and I said I wanted to go in there to try to clean it up, and I did that,” Vivenzio explained. “I got about three dumpsters out of there, plus about four truckloads of more garbage after the dumpsters and everything else.”

“I will be concentrating on this, and I have been doing things,” he continued. “I had gotten a survey, and like I said, I did remove some garbage and I have the engineer, about a month and a half ago, and he’s been working on it.”

The board received an update at its February 6 meeting, and learned that no work had been done.

“We have communication from the building department that there has been no work at all, nothing,” said Village Attorney David Donovan. “No structural evaluation, no securing the building, nothing has been done in the last month.”

Additionally, Vivenzio was unable to attend the meeting due to a personal matter. He sent a letter detailing this, though he did not specify for the board to adjourn the hearing.

From there, the board discussed whether to adjourn the meeting for another time or close it altogether. Trustee Chris Batson speculated that Vivenzio did not know to request an adjournment and suggested that they adjourn.

“He didn’t respond, I don’t think I’m prepared to do anything but adjourn,” Batson said. “I just think from a layman’s perspective, I don’t know that he would have had the legal knowledge to make that.”

Another month passed, and the building has remained the same since the last meeting. Revella stated that Vivenzio had until March 7 at 5 p.m. to demolish or remove the building. Otherwise, the board takes over the responsibility for demolition.

“He did contact me; he wanted to know if he was on the agenda tonight. I said ‘No, you were served with a notice of the board’s decision from the last meeting and had to take action,” Revella said. “He has until 5 p.m. on March 7 to do whatever is necessary, which is in the letter. And then we can take action.”

As of Tuesday morning, March 12, Revella confirmed that Vivenzio has not taken any action toward demolishing the building. Since March 7, the board has begun gathering bids now that the removal process has fallen into its hands.