U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) recently wrote a letter to city Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, urging action be taken on the construction site of a nine-story hotel in Dutch Kills that has received numerous complaints from local residents.
“The owner has repeatedly and willfully acted in a manner that is contrary to law and common decency,” Maloney said in her letter.
The hotel, at 39-35 27th St., has long been a point of contention for many Dutch Kills residents, who have maintained that the proliferation of hotels is ruining the character of the community, but also because after a 2008 re-zoning in the community limiting the height at which commercial properties can be built, this property was grandfathered in despite not having the foundation fully built before the rezoning went into effect.
The hotel has been vociferously protested by the residents immediately adjacent to the property, who said the hotel construction has caused damage to their own houses.
“There are weeks when I had the DOB here every day,” said Vienna Ferreri, who lives at 39-39 27th St.
Ferreri said the construction of the hotel, which is being done by developer Steven Bahar, has infringed upon her property since demolition of the former building on the property started in 2007. She said that on the first day construction workers broke the glass from inside the building, sending it into her yard.
The developer had also failed to do a proper job sheeting and shoring her own property, Ferreri said, citing he was supposed to make the shoring under her house 24 inches thick, but all core samples of the shoring less than that, ranging from 6 to 23 inches thick despite the DOB’s order.
“Not one of them were standard for the job,” she said.
Ferreri said the construction has also cracked the foundation of her home and made it impossible to open her windows because of dirt coming from the construction site. She said she is considering a lawsuit against Bahar and has until May 2011 to file, but would rather not file if Bahar makes the repairs she and her husband have had to make.
“We just want them to fix it,” Ferreri said.
Maloney mentioned these complaints in her letter, as well as complaints about damage done to Rose Parrino’s home at 39-31 27th St. Maloney said Parrino’s home suffered damage during the excavation of the hotel site, Parrino’s yard is filled with rubble, a portion of her property has been taken up by a fence surrounding the construction and the sidewalk in front of Parrino’s home has been broken.
Maloney’s letter said overall the property has received 12 DOB violations and 33 Environmental Control Board violations, and Bahar has not paid “tens of thousands of dollars” in fines.
The hotel construction received a full stop-work order from the DOB in June 2008 for the damage done to Parrino’s home, Maloney’s letter said. On Feb. 3, the order was rescinded so Bahar could work to protect the adjacent property, but he has not done this, Maloney’s letter said. Maloney’s
“I would like to know how much time the [DOB] will allow to go by before requiring the owner to act,” Maloney said.
The DOB and Bahar could not be reached for this article.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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