Tag Archives: North East Flushing Civic Association

Whitestone eyesore cleaned up


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

While the abandoned property located at 24-19 Francis Lewis Boulevard still has a long way to go, the land formerly regarded as an “eyesore” has gotten a little less hard to look at.

After sitting idle for over a decade, the plot, which had become a dumping ground for garbage and out-of-service construction equipment, has finally received some attention as part of an initiative forwarded by Senator Tony Avella and Peter Brancazio of the North East Flushing Civic Association, who hope to convert the derelict property into something of use for the community.

“I am extremely pleased that we were able to work with the city to put enough pressure on the owner to get him to take action,” said Avella.

In January, Avella’s representatives told The Courier that the property’s owner, 2431 Francis Lewis LLC, had failed to pay property taxes since October of 2009, therefore including the property under a list of tax liens — allowing the Department of Finances (DOF) to put the property up for sale. Avella’s representatives alleged that the DOF received a check for $9,772.11 from the property owner on August 3 that later bounced.

Councilmember Daniel Halloran has also remained outspoken about the ongoing project. He alleged that the owner skated fines for inadequate fencing several times in the past by patching parts with plywood when facing a penalty.

“The truck, debris and kitchen sink are gone. However, our work here is not done,” said Avella. “Now we need to focus of getting the fence removed and clearing the weeds and turning that lot into something appealing to the community.”

On February 10, Avella and Brancazio met with representatives from the DOF, Department of Buildings (DOB), Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Department of Sanitations (DSNY) to discuss the abandoned lot. Since the group met, the FDNY has issued a Notice of Violation for the trash on the site and the DOB has transferred the lot to the Padlock Enforcement Unit. Shortly thereafter, the owner cleared the lot.

 

Whitestone property a blight


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Annoyed at the eyesore, local officials are finally addressing an abandoned Whitestone property – located at 24-19 Francis Lewis Boulevard – in the hopes of rousing the city’s Department of Finances (DOF) into taking action.

Senator Tony Avella and the North East Flushing Civic Association want to convert the dumping ground into a contributing entity of the community.

According to Avella’s representatives, the unidentified owner has failed to pay property taxes since October of 2009, therefore including the property under a list of tax liens – meaning three years has lapsed since the last tax payment was received, so the DOF can now put the property up for sale. Avella’s representatives alleged that the DOF received a check on the final day of payment for $9,772.11 from the property owner on August 3, 2011, removing this property from the 2011 list of tax liens. It was later discovered, according to Avella, that the check bounced.

“Shady things are going on there,” said Avella’s spokesperson Edward Fleming of the area, now consumed by graffiti and garbage. “We all want something put there because it’s an eyesore.”

Avella, who claims he is unsure of the property’s owner, wants to put pressure on the city, particularly the DOF, in hopes they will make changes to what he calls “a classic case of things falling through the cracks.” On Saturday January 14, Avella and Peter Brancazio, President of the North East Flushing Civic Association, gathered at the abandoned lot to bring awareness.

“We’re fortunate that in Queens people keep up their properties,” said Avella. “They shouldn’t have to live next to those eyesores for a decade.”

Avella claims he is committed to doing anything necessary to clean up this abandoned lot, which he says has been a problem for over 10 years. He also said that he hopes to spark legislation stemming from this incident, mandating that property owner’s checks need to be guaranteed.