Parking garage

Troy works with the owner of Uncle Sam’s parking garage on demolishing the structure

TROY – The city and Bryce Companies are working on details for the demolition of Uncle Sam’s gated garage. Officials anticipate it will take four months to raze and clean up the site on the north side of Fulton Street between Third and Fourth downtown streets.

Originally built by the city in 1974, the now privately owned garage is nearly 50 years old and has been closed since last year as unsafe.

Bryce Companies had planned to eventually redevelop the 1,715-acre site when it proposed in 2021 to redevelop the south end of Troy’s atrium along Broadway, but that proposal fell through.

The company has not yet obtained a demolition permit to demolish the aging structure, said John Salka, spokesman for Mayor Patrick Madden. Salka added that the city and Bryce are developing plans to deal with the impact on local streets and surrounding areas when the garage is demolished.

The current proposal for the spot calls for the construction of 170 temporary surface parking spaces after the demolition of the existing parking garage, according to plans submitted by the company for review and approved by the Planning Commission. This would represent a loss of 630 out of the 800 spaces in the condemned garage.

David Bryce, owner of the Bryce Companies, which controls several prominent downtown buildings, including the Atrium and the historic Frear Building, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Bryce bought the garage from the city in 2010 for $2.4 million. He expanded the three-storey garage by two stories to add more parking. The structure provided parking for its downtown tenants and was used by the public as a parking lot to attend downtown events. The garage has been estimated to provide up to 18% of available off-street parking downtown.

The city has become more aggressive in enforcing on-street parking downtown to keep spaces rotating for visitors and shoppers. The city has garages on Fifth Avenue and State Street downtown, as well as parking lots on Front Street in Riverfront Park and First Street. There are also smaller city-owned lots.

The city ordered Uncle Sam’s garage closed in July 2021 after determining it was unsafe to use. An earlier technical study determined that the garage was structurally damaged and should be replaced within 10 years.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins