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Queens Chronicle

Castle house is coming along

Work on Jamaica Estates mansion was stalled for years

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Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2016 10:30 am

Construction on the castle-like house at 179-16 Grand Central Pkwy. is moving steadily along, after more than a decade of oft-stalled construction and thousands of dollars in fines from the Department of Buildings.

Stakeholders are pleased that the building is no longer stuck mid-development. Though Community Board 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide used to receive complaints about the house, she said that they stopped since construction resumed.

“Nobody likes to see those empty shells of houses and no one living there,” Jamaica Estates Association President Martha Taylor, who also serves on the community board, told the Queens Chronicle.

The property had been purchased in 2001; a DOB permit was applied for in 2003; construction began in 2005.

Though the community board reached out to the building’s owner, Josette Said, its district manager told the Chronicle that she never responded. Concerns about the site —which was covered in graffiti and had multiple DOB code violations — ranged from aesthetic to economic.

Said could not be reached for comment.

“If I wanted to sell my house and my house was right next to it, I doubt very much I’d get a good price for that house or be able to sell it because nobody wants to live next to someone like that,” Ovide told the Chronicle.

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