The final stages of the demolition of Shoreline Apartments, the Paul Rudolph-designed brutalist affordable housing complex in Buffalo, New York, has been halted because of a resident who has refused to leave his home.
John Schmidt is the only remaining tenant in the 300-unit complex, which Norstar Development Corporation, the developer that has owned the apartment block since 2005 and started redeveloping the area in 2015, says is not safe for him to live there by himself.
But Schmidt is staying on principle, despite being served an eviction notice.
“I don’t actually want to stay. What I want is for Norstar to do the right thing. I want them to apologize to the 222 families they kicked out unnecessarily, under false pretenses, for a plan they didn’t even have permission to proceed with,” Schmidt told Spectrum News.
Schmidt and former tenants believe that Norstar forced them out of Shoreline after assuring them that the demolition and redevelopment process would occur in phases with ample notice for relocation. In May 2016, Norstar ordered residents out by November 1—in six months.
Norstar responded in a statement, saying:
We are pleased that we can bring people very nice, new affordable housing in the downtown business corridor. We do have to relocate these people to rebuild housing, people will be able to come back, but they do have to qualify under that state’s section 42 low income housing regulations. But at this point, all of our residents are income qualified.
A brutalist apartment building in Sydney, Australia, known as Sirius was recently spared the wrecking ball (for now, at least) when a judge overturned the government’s decision not to place it on a heritage list. Unfortunately for the Shoreline, it seems that its days are numbered.