LYONS — When he’s not running his painting business, Marc Speary likes to renovate properties. He has done several in Wayne County, including a home he is finishing up on Sisson Street in Lyons.
His next project was of the larger variety: 50 Canal St. in downtown Lyons, which Fire Chief Bob Darcangelis estimates has been vacant for two decades after housing a first-floor laundry business at one time.
Those rehab plans are now in question after a large portion of the rear of the building collapsed about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. A massive pile of bricks and window frames was seen below the two-story building.
No one was injured, Darcangelis said.
Town Code Enforcement Officer Dick Bogan said he, Speary and an engineer he suggested Speary hire will meet Friday morning to discuss whether the building can be saved or will need to be demolished.
“This is an old building,” Bogan said. “There have been some issues with bricks falling over the years, but the owner has been responsive (to making repairs).”
Speary, who obtained the building at a county-run property tax foreclosure auction three years ago, said he planned to build six loft apartments on the expansive second floor, with his first-floor plans more in flux.
A stabilizing header where windows were appeared to give way, resulting in the wall coming down, he said.
Speary, of Ontario, said water has been seeping into the building for many years. He noted that there are no soffits to help keep moisture away.
“The water was running along the bricks and behind, and freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw,” he said.
Contractor Richie Santelli, who has rehabilitated several buildings in Lyons, said he’s not surprised to see the wall collapse.
“I’d been telling (the town) for five years that it is going to come down,” he said.
However, Santelli believes the building can be saved, calling it “an easy fix.”
The building has been cordoned off on three sides. It shares a common wall with an adjacent building to the west on Canal Street.