Most of the green scaffolding that covered the tower of the Station Square Apartments in Forest Hills has been removed to the delight of the surrounding community of Forest Hills Gardens and Long Island Rail Road commuters.
“We were just waiting for the contractors to finish the work,” said Martin Restituyo, president of the apartments’ co-op board since 2008. “The tower [scaffolding] is almost completely down.”
The scaffolding was put up nearly seven years ago, with the co-op in the midst of capital improvements on its three buildings that is expected to be completed within the next five years, Restituyo said.
Earlier this year, the apartments received enough money to fill its coffers to complete the repairs, which came from the repayment of old debts by a tenant and a $100,000 refund from National Grid.
That refund came about in large part because the Station Square Apartments management discovered it had been paying a gas bill for a nearby building for years.
Green scaffolding remains on a building connected to the tower, which still has some of the barriers, although it is obfuscated by trees.
The apartments are adjacent to the Station Square LIRR stop and are near the shops that line Austin Street in Forest Hills.
The scaffolding was considered to be a blight by the neighboring Forest Hills Gardens Corp., which sued the Station Square Apartments in 2004 to remove the scaffolding, but the lawsuit was unsuccessful.
While the apartments look more aesthetically pleasing for the time being, Restituyo said eventually more scaffolding will go up for work on the tower’s facade and roof.
“We’re trying to get [the work] in as earliest as we can,” Restituyo said. “We’re taking it one day at a time.”
With winter soon arriving, Restituyo expected the improvements on the tower would not get started until next year.
Costs of the capital improvements to the apartments’ three buildings was estimated at $2.5 million, he said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2011 Community News Group
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