Sunday, April 22, 2012
Abandoned complex in Hollis
From the Daily News:
Next to the scores of children enjoying recess at Renaissance Middle School’s playground is a brick wasteland that stretches for two blocks in Hollis.
In most of the dilapidated buildings — on one side of Hollis Ave. between 202nd St. and 204th St. — the windows are boarded up, shattered or cracked. Some have crumbling front steps. Others have walls cracked to their foundation. Weeds have taken over lawns and sidewalks, and trash is strewn in the back yards.
If it looks desolate and deserted, that’s because they’ve been abandoned for 16 years, said community leaders, who have tried in vain to buy the buildings from the landlord, Rita Stark.
The Hollis Local Development Corp. has tried repeatedly to purchase the building closest to the school and convert it into a community center, said President Michael Hargraves.
Stark would not sell to the group because “they weren’t sufficiently capitalized,” said her spokesman, George Arzt.
Stark is currently seeking funding to develop the site to house veterans and victims of domestic violence, Arzt said.
But local leaders were skeptical, noting that Stark is a real estate heiress with a notorious history of leaving properties fallow.