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Queens Chronicle

The eyesore that just won’t quit

Incomplete apartment building remains at a standstill for years

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:30 am

An inactive construction site that has been stalled for years is frustrating the residents of Briarwood.

The lot located at 84-03 Lander St. was supposed to be developed into a six-story apartment house. But years later, the building remains unfinished, with metal columns that have since rusted over and a plywood fence that has become weather-worn and covered in graffiti.

“My suspicions are that they stopped working because they ran out of money,” Seymour Schwartz, president of the Briarwood Community Association, said. “They have a decrepit plywood fence that’s falling over and is very ugly in appearance, and it’s just a real eyesore.”

According to the Department of Buildings, a stop-work order was issued on March 26, 2010 for failing to protect the adjacent property — an active construction site for a similar apartment building next door. The builder was issued a second stop-work order in December 2011 for a collapsed and missing fence.

“Since August 2012, inspectors from the Department of Buildings have visited the site four times and issued four Environmental Control Board violations,” DOB spokeswoman Kelly Magee said. “The most recent round of violations was issued on April 10, for expired permits and failure to maintain a construction fence. DOB inspectors continue to monitor this as a stalled construction site.”

Though more than $24,000 in violation fees have been issued, Schwartz said he is pessimistic that anything would come out of the ticketing.

“It’s the old story,” he said. “They had violations issued going back to 2008 but the way this works, if they appear at ECB, they can testify that they have made corrections to the site and it can stand incomplete that way indefinitely.”

Schwartz said a number of people in the community have been keeping an eye out for anything that could be dangerous to passersby.

“The site is wide open and unprotected,” Schwartz said. “We had kids going over there and playing with the debris and people have sprayed graffiti all over the fence. It looks horrible. This block is a nice block and this building just ruins it.”

“It really is a shame,” Beth Handle, a Briarwood resident, said. “It sucks that this happens but I don’t think there is much that can be done. As long as no one gets hurt, we’re going to just have to deal with it, I guess.”

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, though, as the DOB confirmed that on April 26, a new applicant filed with the department to take over the job.

“The applicant will need to get their permit reinstated and the stop-work order lifted before work can begin on the site,” Magee said. “In the meantime, the Department of Buildings has reached out to the applicant to discuss repairing the fence.”

According to the DOB website and Magee, the new listed owner is Joseph Yunason of 8403 Lander Street Assoc., LLC. He is taking over for Choung Kang of Honor Property Management.

Phone calls were made in an effort to speak with Yunason but the individual who answered insisted that the listed number was wrong, and would not answer any questions.

A hearing with the ECB is set for May 28 at 8:30 a.m. for an expired equipment permit violation.

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