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Baysiders slam empty houses built by Huang

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Bayside community leaders said they planned to fight the completion of several homes that were constructed in the neighborhood several years ago by controversial developer Tommy Huang but have been sitting vacant ever since.

The project had drawn numerous complaints, violations and stop-work orders since Huang acquired the property in 2002 and began constructing four homes at the site, at 39-39 223rd St. near the Cross Island Parkway in Bayside. The property’s lot had held one house.

“This is a blemish on the community,” Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said. “During the course of being built, there was illegal work, dangerous conditions and unlicensed contracts. Everybody is entitled to making a dollar, but you have to be in tune with the community.”

CB 11’s zoning committee voted unanimously Monday to not approve the project’s completion.

Huang could not be reached for comment.

Susan Seinfeld, district manager of CB 11, said the houses were mostly completed and that the developer wanted to finish them as well as obtain certificates of occupancy.

Huang has long been considered a notorious developer in Queens. In 1999, he was convicted of a felony for a 1996 oil spill in the basement of the landmarked RKO Keith’s Theatre in Flushing, which he purchased in 1986. Brooklyn developer Shaya Boymelgreen currently owns the theater site.´╗┐

He also bought the 200-year-old Klein Farm in Fresh Meadows in 2003 with plans to construct 18 two-family homes at the site. But he has since put the property up for sale.

Seinfeld said zoning in the community has changed since Huang’s Bayside homes were constructed and that they currently do not conform to current zoning.

Iannece said Huang is planning to go before the city Board of Standards and Appeals to get the project moving forward once again.

“He’s a convicted felon,” he said. “This is a developer who should never be building in this community. He’s bad news.”

The community board will hold a public hearing on the property during its April 5 meeting.

The city Department of Buildings has issued 16 violations´╗┐ at the Bayside site and slapped the developer with $15,000 in fines. No certificates of occupancy have ever been issued for the buildings and its permits expired two years ago.

A total of 75 complaints ´╗┐have been filed at the property.

“Given the notorious reputation of the developer, one would hope the BSA would look deeply into these properties and make sure everything is up to code,” said Dennis Ring, a spokesman for City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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