Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A year later, nothing's changed at Hell's Kitchen hellhole

From NY1:

Worried residents who live near vacant buildings on 51st and 52nd Streets between Ninth and 10th Avenues first contacted NY1 For You a year ago, complaining about the unsanitary and unsafe environment bred by the buildings.

They say the properties used to be a positive part of the neighborhood when they were owned by St. Vincent's Medical Center, but quickly became a detriment to the area two years ago, after they were sold to a developer who gutted them and left them abandoned.

"The building's abandoned, it's in disrepair. We want it boarded up, we want it taken care of," says John Owens, the co-chair of the block association.

Owens has been inside the buildings and says they have hazardous conditions.

"There was probably six to seven feet of standing water in a part of the building which -- you have standing water, you have mosquitos, and you have water, you have mold," says Owens. "So residents have complained mold has seeped out of the building into their actual apartments."

Neighboring residents also complained of rodents coming from the building, as well as homeless people and squatters inside the abandoned property who enter through unlocked doors.

The city Department of Health recently issued a violation for standing water, and a spokeswoman told NY1 the agency will conduct another inspection this week.

NY1 contacted the Department of Buildings and a spokeswoman told the station that the properties are on the DOB's stalled site list and are the responsibility of the owner. She said the agency will send inspectors back out to access the current condition of the buildings.

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