From the Times Ledger:
Bayside community leaders said they want the city to investigate whether a controversial Korean church being constructed in the community complies with the terms of its mortgage.
The house of worship, being built at 26-18 210th St. in Bayside, has riled up residents living along 27th Avenue and 210th Street, who say the building is out of character with the neighborhood.
City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said his understanding of the situation was that the mortgage for the property was obtained for a residential home. The property’s developer demolished a house at the site and has been constructing a church.
“They financed it through a mortgage, but it was not obtained for a commercial establishment or church,” Halloran said. “By destroying the house, they may have violated the terms of their mortgage. If they intended to do this from the outset, they may have committed mortgage fraud.”
A spokeswoman for the city Department of Buildings said the developer filed an application in July 2008 to convert the existing home at the site into a place of assembly, but the application was disapproved and withdrawn.
In August 2008, the developer filed an application to demolish the existing home at the site and by March 2009 the house was knocked down, the spokeswoman said. The site underwent a change of occupancy and use that same month.
In spring 2008, former Councilman Tony Avella said the Emigrant Mortgage Co., which provided the loan for the church, was planning to begin foreclosure proceedings at the site.
Halloran said the property had been put into foreclosure, but the church’s developer could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Emigrant Mortgage Co. could not track down information on the property to determine whether it had been foreclosed.
The deed for the property lists Kyung Jin and Kwan Ok Chung as its purchasers. A pastor at Flushing’s Jesus Covenant Church said last year that the two institutions are interrelated.