Years later, a tree grows in Whitestone

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Councilmember Dan Halloran and Robin Singh planted a tree at the site of a former eyesore to symbolize the start of a new beginning.Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Dan Halloran
Councilmember Dan Halloran and Robin Singh planted a tree at the site of a former eyesore to symbolize the start of a new beginning.

A graffiti-splattered construction fence in Whitestone recently came down, while a tree — symbolic of a new beginning — went up.

Councilmember Dan Halloran recently joined the new property owner at a formerly-blighted site to plant seeds to a tree, representing a new era for residents of the area.

The 24-19 Francis Lewis Boulevard property was once considered an eyesore, infesting the neighborhood for over a decade after former owners failed to pay taxes, the councilmember said. Local leaders said the idle plot had become a dumping ground for garbage and out-of-service construction equipment.

Last week, Halloran struck a deal with Robin Singh, the new property owner, and gained approval from the Department of Buildings (DOB) to take down the marred fence. A new six-foot chain-link fence  is now in place, Halloran said.

“Hopefully with this tree, the site will become a green oasis instead of the urban wasteland it has been for so long,” the councilmember said. “I thank the property owner for hearing the cries of the community. Today is a new beginning for this piece of land.”