Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Supermarket owner owes a lot of fines

From the Times Ledger:

New York Mart, the new owner of the shuttered Key Food supermarket in Flushing, owes the city thousands of dollars in fines after failing for more than a month to comply with a stop-work order, according to city records.

The supermarket chain, which was busy converting the space into the fifth location of the Asian food market, has been fined $15,000 by the city Department of Buildings since July 27 for a series of violations, the department’s records show. The fines had not been paid as of Tuesday afternoon, a DOB spokeswoman said.

On July 27, the department issued a partial stop-work order on the property at 142-41 Roosevelt Ave. for working without a permit and it mandated that all interior work be stopped, the spokeswoman said. On Aug. 18, the property was cited for not having construction plans its owner submitted to the department on hand at the site, and on Aug. 26 a full stop-work order was issued, barring all work on the property until the fines are paid.

The building was cited on Sept. 1 for violating that order, according to DOB records. On that date, the department inspected the site after area resident Mary Ann Boroz said she and a group of neighbors complained to the agency and local officials about what she described as illegal excavation going on in the basement of the property.

She said she believed the work was being done in order to create a basement parking facility, a concern two local community leaders said they also had. William Chen, general manager of New York Mart, could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but indicated in writing in July that he intended to provide parking at the location “if it is approved by the city.” No new parking has been approved for the site.

“Back in July, I took photographs of what was coming out of the back of the building and it was slabs of concrete and dirt and wood,” Boroz said. “Long story short, he claimed it was debris. It wasn’t debris. Where do you have slabs of concrete just hanging around? I turned the pictures over to the Department of Buildings, Community Board 7 and Peter Koo,” the Republican Councilman from Flushing. The location was also cited for failure to obey the original stop-work order Aug. 31, when the DOB inspected the store and found “men performing concrete work at rear of supermarket,” “work contrary to [stop-work order]” and “failure to protect persons and property affected by construction operations,” according to DOB records.

James McClelland, a spokesman for Koo, said he warned Chen that if he wanted to do work at the Key Food site, he needed to hire an architect who is aware of building codes and other laws.

“I told him, ‘If you’re going to operate, you’ve got to operate above the board because the community is watching you.’ So shame on him,” McClelland said Tuesday after hearing about the stop-work order.

McClelland said that when he heard residents’ concerns about possible illegal work at the site, Koo was quick to meet with the DOB, which McClelland said he advised not to “drag their feet” in responding to the complaints.

Koo will continue to monitor the situation and ensure that any work occurring at the site is entirely legal, according to McClelland.

“I may call him in now and ask him what’s going on,” he said.


georgetheatheist said...

From the movie "The Treasure of the Flushing Madre":

"Permits? Permits? We don' need no steenkin' permits!"

Anonymous said...

Have the sheriffs just go into this guy's open supermarkets and walk out with the contents of the cash registers. Repeat until the fines are paid.

Anonymous said...

“I told him, ‘If you’re going to operate, you’ve got to operate above the board because the community is watching you.’SO SHAME ON HIM.

Ha, shame on him. Yea that will make him reverse his operations, shame... 9th graders can run a more true, pragmatic and convetional government than our current elected officials are able to.

Anonymous said...

The proposed roof parking has been disapproved by Building Dept. The interior renovation work is filed by an unlicensed architect and rubber stamped by a New Jersey engineer STEVE SCHNEIDER, who has rubber stamped numerous of projects including the Prince Plaza at 37-14 Prince St.

Anonymous said...

"Have the sheriffs just go into this guy's open supermarkets and walk out with the contents of the cash registers. Repeat until the fines are paid."

That's illegal. And if that's illegal, I will do something illegal to end it all - mark him down and kill him or pay him a bribe and record it so I can use it as leverage.

Anonymous said...

Anon-1: how do think a warrant for an assert seizure in a cash business is executed?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This guy is already open for business even though the store is under construction. He is selling fruits and vegetables on the sidewalk around the store and many people are buying. He has a cash register set up outside. Guess he doesn't need DOB approval since he is not using the building.