The chirping of crickets and clanging of trains are still prominent on the corner of North Conduit Avenue and Cohancy Street, but the plot of land on the northeast corner of the intersection looks somewhat more aesthetically pleasing.
Gone are the overgrown weeds and wildflowers that erupted through unkempt decades-old concrete. No more are the advertisements — one on a makeshift wooden billboard, another hanging from a century-old brick building with boarded-up windows.
It was just a week ago that Howard Kamph, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, was trying to rally forces to clean the site, which is actually four lots on a triangular plot of land bordered by North Conduit Avenue, Cohancy Street and the A subway line. By Friday evening, the lot closest to the corner had gotten some much needed attention.
“They got to it really fast, I’m really happy about that,” Kamph said.
Cleaning crews hired by the owner cleared out the brush and removed the signs, as well as some overgrown vines on what used to be an auto body shop.
But some issues remain at the site. The rusty cyclone fence is still there though a section of it is missing Kamph would like to see a new fence put up, one that includes some privacy features that would keep the lot out of view from the street.
“As long as they put up a privacy fence, I’ll be happy,” he said.
The site has been vacant for decades and as recently as 2007 was used to sell furniture off the back of a truck. The “business” disappeared after the Buildings Department issued violations.
Kamph said a newsstand once existed at the site, which sits adjacent to the Aqueduct-North Conduit subway station and is passed by hundreds of commuters every day, but it did not stay open for long.