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Update: Royle Wall Collapses; Demolition Delay Remains "Day-to-Day" Arrangement

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Photo taken by activist Carl Burrows
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PATERSON, NJ – As preservationists continue their efforts to save the 19th century Royle Mill, part of one of the building’s walls collapsed over the weekend.

But supporters of the movement to keep the Royle from being demolished say the damage does not seem irreparable. “She’s too strong,’’ said Carl “Doc” Burrows, one of the leaders of the preservation movement.

Burrows said the building’s structural support, floors and corners seemed intact and most what collapsed was bricks. He speculated the weight of the debris from the demolition of the more modern parts of the building caused the collapse.

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City council members Andre Sayegh and Julio Tavarez had a conference call with the building’s owners on Friday to try to work out a deal to preserve the historic section of the building. The owner’s lawyer, Francis Ciambrone, said on Thursday the demolition of the 19th century building would be put on hold to allow the talks to continue, according to a story on northjersey.com.

"We're in a better place, but he's still determined to demolish,'' said Sayegh. "We have to give him some options and perhaps even find him a buyer.''

Sayegh said the owner's agreement to delay demolition on the historic portion of the site was a "day-to-day'' arrangement. "He's got a demolition contract to consider,'' said Sayegh.

Sayegh said there would be another conference call with owner on Monday.

Paterson’s economic development staff person, Brian Sweeney, has been working on a plan to offer the building’s owners various tax incentives to leave the building standing, officials said.

The Royle’s current owner, UFVS Management Co., has no immediate plans to build anything at the site. The company plans to keep the lot vacant, a move that the owners believe will help them get their property taxes reduced, officials said.

The plans for the Royle's demolition have prompted preservationists to criticize the Jones administration's handling of the issue. Jones' Community Development Director Lanisha Makle has said in published reports that the city could not afford to offer the Royle's owner any financial incentives to keep the building standing.

 

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