Hey - remember this post from a short time ago? Well the Times Ledger has figured out what happened...
The planned community, at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 115th Street, has slowly been taking shape since 2002, but sometime during the last year construction crews went silent. A stroll through the area reveals a grim picture: shattered windows and graffiti pock-mark half-finished buildings that tower over unmanned construction equipment, just feet from where children play outside identical row homes that were completed.
According to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, between 2001 and 2003 the developer responsible for the project allegedly perpetrated an ambitious scheme geared at defrauding one of the largest banks in the country.
Benton Campbell, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, said 60-year-old Thomas Kontogiannis and eight other men were indicted on conspiracy and bank fraud charges in June for allegedly attempting to finance Edgewater Estates and another development in Brooklyn by executing straw purchases on the homes planned for the development to obtain multiple mortgages on each property.
About a third of the development was never completed and shows no signs of getting underway anytime soon.
The Cervinos spent months on the property and said they completed tens of thousands of dollars of work to rehabilitate the coastline surrounding the property after Kontogiannis’ company had illegally tried to bridge an inlet between two portions of the development drawing fines from the state DEC.
James Cervino said that over the last several months, much of their work has been undone and anyone who purchased the property would have to complete $300,000 to $600,000 to meet state DEC standards.