BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's the first thing you see when you get off the Niagara Street exit in Downtown Buffalo. The Shoreline Apartments are barricaded by bars and fences. As you walk by, you'll see debris, broken glass and trash all over the place.
"It looks like a war zone and that does something to the psyche of the community," said community activist Mindy Jo Rosso.
She remembers when the last person was evicted from the homes back in 2017. Former resident Kyle Carter said the same thing happened to him and his mom.
"They gave her like a 90 day notice...they let her know that they would be renovated and they set her up with another apartment, but they basically rushed her out," recalled Carter.
Since then, he says only part of the homes have been renovated. With the project only partially finished, people are wondering, what the hold up is.
"They were supposed to basically be redeveloping this in different stages, clearly that's not happening and I honestly don't know," said community activist John Washington.
With so many vacant homes, Rosso fears there isn't enough affordable housing.
"It's already hard to find affordable housing as it is. Now 200 en masse were being pulled from under our people?" said Rosso.
Some feel that the buildings have historical value and shouldn't be torn down, but renovated as they are.
"It was design by Paul Rudolph who is a master architect. It's one of the few examples of his architecture in Western New York," says preservationist Barbara Campagna.
We reached out to the owners of the building, Norstar Development USA for an update.
"The matter is in litigation and it's our policy not to comment. We expect the project to proceed as planned as soon as the litigation is resolved which we believe will be soon. The claim is without merit and we believe the court will resolve the matter in our favor," said Linda Goodman, Senior Vice President at Norstar.
According to the courts, this litigation is in the appeal process.