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St. Mary's on the Hill site sold

The crumbling Episcopal church at Niagara and Vermont streets has been sold to a New York City business for $150,000 by the Bronx woman who acquired the property in a tax-foreclosure sale four years ago, according to Buffalo Housing Court Judge Henry J. Nowak.

The St. Mary's on the Hill site was sold by Julia J. Myrie- Oyewo to Amansie Enterprises. As a result of the transaction, Nowak on Thursday placed the building code violation case on the court's reserve calender, pending possible city action against the new owner.

Last Month, Nowak converted the unpaid $3,000 fine imposed on Myrie-Oyewo into a civil judgment. She had been sentenced in absentia to 30 days in jail April 27 and still faces that penalty. The new owners of the 117-year-old, three-building site, meanwhile, could face a fine.

Neither Desmond Hughes, Myrie-Oyewo's Buffalo attorney, nor Joan Forrester, attorney for Amansie, with Madison Avenue offices, could be reached to comment.

Nowak said the transaction occurred June 3.

At the request of city officials last month and again Thursday, Nowak has indefinitely postponed a demolition hearing on the roofless West Side landmark, where the bell tower collapsed May 5.

Before the church site was sold, according to Peter K. Cutler, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown's director of communications, Myrie-Oyewo paid the $3,712 to have security fencing installed.

The Brown administration is under pressure from preservationists who hope a developer can be persuaded to find a new use for the church.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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