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Queens Chronicle

Neighbor not loving ‘eyesore’ house

Owner of Fresh Meadows property says it will be shaping up soon

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2018 10:30 am

When Mary Ann Giammarco sees the empty house at 73-36 179 St. in Fresh Meadows, she isn’t happy.

A graffiti-stained commercial truck sits in the driveway, with lumber languishing behind it. A sign on the door urges passersby to stay out.

“The whole property is just an eyesore,” Giammarco told the Chronicle last week. “And the homes around here are beautiful.”

A resident of the same street, she is a member of the Utopia Estates Civic Association and a block captain.

Giammarco penned a letter to the editor about the site that the Chronicle ran last week. It also doubled as an open letter to Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), who then reached out to the 107th Precinct, Community Board 8 and the Department of Buildings about the location.

Earlier this month, multiple 311 complaints were issued about the property, leading a DOB inspector to visit it on Aug. 21. But no conditions contrary to the zoning and construction codes were discovered, so no violations were issued.

Plans had been filed last year to gut renovate the single-family house and add a second floor to it. But they were rejected.

The application had been declined “because it was incomplete and missing a number of required items,” according to the agency.

Solomon Shimunov, who bought the property for $860,000 in June 2017, says the site will be looking spiffy soon, though. He told the Chronicle he expects to have new plans filed with the DOB and start construction within a few weeks.

“Believe me, I don’t want to keep things like this,” said the owner, a Queens resident who has developed other properties in the area, including a home on 180th Street.

Earlier this week, after the Chronicle reached out to him, Shimunov had someone mow the lawn. Before that, the grass in the front yard was by far the longest on the block.

The owner also explained that the truck and lumber are at the property because they are needed for the imminent construction.

Shimunov said what’s holding him up now is that he needs permission to demolish the garage at the site.

In his interview, he read the Chronicle a text from the man in charge of the demolition plans, who promised to have them filed with the DOB this week or the next one.

When it comes to how long construction will take, the owner expects it will be three and a half months.

“We’re not here to make anybody agitated,” he added.

And regarding the sign on the door — which warns of poison — he said it was posted there due to the presence of asbestos that has since been removed.

Frank Petruso, the architect for the development of the house, told the Chronicle he’s going to submit another application to get permits for the site after the demolition wraps up.

Giammarco said she is pleased that the grass was mowed but still has concerns about the property.

“My satisfaction will occur when we see some progress being made,” she said.

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