From the Forum:
After months of civic leaders pleading with the city to do something about a Woodhaven building that partially collapsed in April, sending a sea of bricks crashing onto Jamaica Avenue during a busy rush hour, an elected official said there could be a light at the end of the tunnel regarding the structure that has prompted numerous safety concerns and become what residents call a serious eyesore.
Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) said this week that the property’s landlord, a group by the name of 78-19 Jamaica Ave. LLC, has hired an architect to look into fixing the crumbling building that stands in a bustling commercial corridor.
“It took a long time, but at least something is going to be done about it,” Miller said.
When the roof of the abandoned furniture store collapsed, it sent a storm of bricks into an area often packed with vehicles and pedestrians during rush hour. A car was badly damaged in the collapse, but no one was hurt.
The landlord, who could not be reached for comment, has reportedly recently paid thousands of dollars in fines owed to the city for a variety of violations, from a failure to maintain the building to conducting work without a permit, according to area elected officials and civic leaders. However, those payments have not been recorded on the city Department of Building’s website, which still states that there are 33 open DOB violations on the property, as well as eight open Environmental Control Board violations.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings said the DOB issued a criminal court summons for failure to maintain the building and failure to comply with the DOB commissioner’s order to file plans and commence work to repair the building by Nov. 29, 2013. While a judge in a criminal court case does not have the power to force a defendant to make repairs, there is incentive for the owner to comply with the summons – and make repairs – because it can lead to a better outcome for them.