Hearing will determine if former Richford Hotel will be demolished

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A hearing is scheduled on Sept. 28 to determine if the former Richford Hotel in downtown Rochester will be demolished.

Barricades have surrounded the century-old building since its siding panels fell off in April of 2022, causing Chestnut Street near Elm Street to shut down.

The city has filed a notice calling the hotel building dangerous, unsafe, and a public nuisance. The building is across from another former hotel, the Hotel Cadillac, which is being turned into affordable housing and a fine arts center.

Dana Miller, city commissioner of neighborhood, says the city would demolish the Richford Hotel if no action is taken by the owner. He said the owner has been responsive.

The owner can dispute the city’s finding that the building is unsafe and needs to be demolished. After that, a hearing officer would decide whether to side with the building’s owner or set a deadline after which the city could demolish the building at the owner’s expense.

Miller says the building’s owner covered the windows with boards, which have started to fall off. The city says the building has 15 active code violations. It also contains asbestos and is a listed on the state historic register, which would complicate the building’s demolition.

Mayor Malik Evans and his staff have sought to demolish or demand repair of homes that the city has deem unsafe. News10NBC spoke with the property manager of a home on Jay Street after the home was added to the city’s demolition list. News10NBC also spoke with a woman who owns a home on Hawley Street and got a letter calling the home unsafe.