City leader reacts to “shame on city hall” signs on vacant building

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A city owned vacant building in Buffalo’s fruit belt is sending a message. Someone anonymously posted signs to the building that say “save this building” and “shame on city hall.”

Councilman Darius Pridgen says he believes people that don’t even live in the neighborhood put the signs up.

Pridgen says in the past there was a move to landmark the building, but the people living in the fruit belt didn’t want to landmark the building, in fact he says they wanted to demolish it.

Pridgen says whoever put up the signs should come forward.

“For someone to come inside a community that already has it’s challenges and put up placards on the building, number one, it’s trespassing, number two they’re breaking the law,” said Pridgen.

The other issue the posted signs say is “demand action.”

There’s a moratorium preventing the city from selling about 200 city-owned properties in the fruit belt, 204 High street is one of those.

“As gentrification occurs, the people in the fruit belt, who live in the fruit belt and pay taxes in the fruit belt were afraid that the city would sell the 200 plus lots to outsiders,” said Pridgen.

The fruit belt community wants to be apart of the decision making process for the 200+ lots.

Pridgen says in order for the moratorium to be lifted, the community has to come up with a plan and present it to the common council. “Without a plan then many of the people who have grown up there, who have worked hard to maintain their properties will not be able to afford to stay there as homeowners or renters.”

Pridgen told News 4 when the moratorium is lifted, he wants fruit belt residents to have a say in controlling their destiny, not an outsider anonymously pushing for change in a neighborhood they don’t live in.

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