Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Burn, grandma, burn!

"Why does this block of 45th Avenue near Kissena Boulevard always have parking problems?

Because this block contains the 19-story, 289-unit SelfHelp retirement residence, which has had its visitors' parking lot closed to the public since October 2006. As a result, children and grandchildren have been forced to look for parking on the street.

The management instituted a monthly fee of $100 for visitors wishing to park on the building's property to visit their elderly family members. To prevent ambulettes from using the parking lot as a pick-up location, a huge moving gate was installed. Now, ambulettes and taxis crowd the street awaiting their elderly customers, tying up traffic. On cold winter days, the residents are forced to wait on the sidewalk for their rides. The orange tower in the back contains 158 apartments for the elderly, and shares this parking lot with the gray Martin Lande Tower. The latter tower is mentioned in the AIA Guide to New York City. Both are managed by SelfHelp.

This building actually contains two parking lots. The second lot is almost always empty. So much so, that cars often park in front of its gate - in spite of the "No Parking" sign. What does John Liu, the local city councilman have to do with this inconvenience? In October 2006, a group of elderly residents mailed him a letter alleging the fire hazard, traffic woes, and parking shortage that may result from the pay-to-park gated lot. Letters were also mailed to Mayor Bloomberg and State Senator Stavisky. Responses ranged from "Have you spoken to the management?" to "We're looking into it," to no responses at all. A local firefighter told me, "In case of fire, I hope that the doorman has the key to open this gate." Sorry, but only the residents and paying members have the key. My grandparents fear that with a decline of services and unfriendly management, it's only a matter of time before the elderly-low-income limited-profit tower becomes just another luxury conversion." - mazeartist


Anonymous said...

Once again, in lieu of a real City Councilman we have the ersatz John Liu (who, by the way, was voted in by a very slim margin)!

Julia Harrison (who was on the Committee For The Aging) would never have allowed this to happen!

I guess they have a different view of the elderly in Taiwan (Liu's ancestral home).......the sooner they die, the more room that there is!

Let's cut the old fairy tale crap about the Chinese respecting their elders!

The times....they are a changing!

Anonymous said...

That is the whole point of the senior residences. When the club house shows interest in you, you can bet your last dollar there is a rea$on for that interest.

The buildings are used to empty out rent stablized apartments, if they are sponsored by a church, they can be built out of scale as of right, and at some point down the road, converted to anything their sponsors (who almost always have links to the clubhouse) desires.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You people make no sense at all.

mazeartist said...

According to the Department of Aging website, these apartments are sponsored by Selfhelp Community Services and managed by the Douglas Elliman real estate group.

Anonymous said...

Yes....it's all about warehousing seniors in lucrative "God's waiting rooms" while clearing them out of their old rent controlled or rent stabilized homes!

Don't worry councilman Liu, you too will eventually become old and have your turn in the barrel!

I hope that your son "Joey" will respect your wishes when you turn 80!