Troy Music Hall Suit

The nonprofit foundation that runs  in upstate New York sued First Niagara Bank June 24 in an attempt to stop the bank from transferring ownership of the part of the building it owns to another party.  


The historic building is jointly owned by the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Foundation and the First Niagara Bank, assets of which are in the process of being acquired by KeyBank. According to the suit, as reported by the Albany Times-Union, First Niagara allegedly violated bylaws that govern the building by not offering the foundation the part of the building owned by the bank, rather than transferring it to either a new owner or foundation.

The complaint says First Niagara also reportedly appointed two board managers in violation of the bylaws. “We see the transfer as a pivotal moment for the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the City of Troy and the Capital Region,” Leslie Cheu, executive director of Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Foundation, told the Times Union.

“We have taken the step of filing a lawsuit because we are concerned about the possible impact of this transfer on the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.”

First Niagara Bank has reportedly not operated in the building since 2012. The 1,180-capacity Music Hall is considered a historical and cultural landmark. First Niagara, which controls 80 percent of the building, has yet to announce the disposition of its portion of the building. “We’re currently pursuing a donation of this historic and cultural jewel to a worthy local nonprofit, so that it may be enjoyed and treasured for many years to come,” Danvid Lanzillo, a First Niagara spokesman, said in a statement. “The lawsuit filed by the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Foundation is unfortunate and without merit. We will present a vigorous defense and we look forward to a quick resolution in our favor,” Lanzillo said.

The spokesman also told the Times-Union that an offer was made to the Music Hall foundation. “We offered to donate the building to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Foundation, but could not come to agreement on the terms of the donation,” Lanzillo told the paper. First Niagara Bank was unable to sell its share of the property because of significant asbestos in the basement, which is being removed.