Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Unfinished Jamaica Estates castle is an eyesore

From the NY Post:

This man’s home is his castle — and a pain in the neck to everyone else.

The half-built remains of what looks like a medieval castle sit abandoned alongside the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, a testament to grand ambitions gone horribly wrong.

Joseph Jimenez and his wife Josette Said set out to build a dream home on a vacant plot of land in leafy Jamaica Estates, a neighborhood full of gracious tudors and colonials.

“We thought it was a good idea because the land was being used by vagrants,” said Martha Taylor, a member of the local community board and president of the Jamaica Estates Association.

Said, who bought the property in 2001, first applied for a permit with the city Department of Buildings in 2003, and began work in 2005.

The outline of a manor that would have made King Arthur feel at home, complete with turret-like accents, sprouted on the site, but then construction stalled.

Locals began catapulting complaints about the eyesore to the DOB and to local officials, who could do little other than scratch their heads.

“Unfortunately, the city does not have a mechanism to force people to finish building,” said Marie Adam-Ovide, the district manager of Community Board 8.


Anonymous said...

The City better find a mechanism. Haven't we had enough of these developers that abuse the NYC Building Codes, Zoning Laws and NYC Administrative Laws. These unfinished structures cause serious Quality of Life issues for the adjacent neighbors and the neighborhood. They are a haven for squatters; vandals; local kids and adults looking for a place to drink and do drugs, etc.

Our politicians have done nothing to enact legislation to remedy this situation. Why? There is no legitimate reason that I can think of. This is totally outrageous. The City can't do anything? And, our politicians cannot see that the City does what needs to be done. Pathetic state of affairs.

A law should have been passed years ago hat a project need be completed in a "specified" period of time. If for any reason it cannot be -- the structure(s) should be torn down. No hardship loopholes! No opportunity should e given for the owner to go to the BSA for relief beyond the deadline to complete the project. The BSA grants almost everything that comes before them, even the applications that should not be granted.

These aborted construction projects are running our Quality of Life. They are devaluing our properties. They are eyesores that we should not be made to live with. The owners need to be made to maintain the site(s) and keep them free of bugs and vermin. These owners totally abandon their responsibilities with regard to health and sanitation issues that arise at the sites. The DOB: DOS; DEP ignore the environmental problems created by this sites. Yet, we have to live with the deplorable conditions.

Example: The Huang project in Bayside on 223rd Street needs to be leveled to the ground. No one seems to want to take it over or buy it. Rightfully so, as it is a major problem to rectify the wrongs that have been done. Human and animal vermin; bees; wasps; mosquitos and unsanitary conditions exist. Property owners should be held accountable. The DOB does not even want to write violations for these projects at the stage they are in. The other agencies cannot get in to view the conditions beyond the construction fences.

Our City and Mayor do nothing about the problem.

Joe Moretti said...

I just saw this for the first time while driving on Grand Central Parkway to Cunningham Park. I went by and saw this and said, "what they hell is that". I was not even sure how they got to that side of the highway to even build that, so there must be some back way. But what the hell was this person thinking, who builds something in that location.

And of course I thought, why does NYC allow such bullshit and let the unfinished eyesores just sit there.

NYC is one fucked up city, far from the greatest city in the world.

We're Queens - We Can't Have Anything Nice said...

More tacky shit put up by our "Vibrant and Diverse" guests!

This city needs a new law enforcement agency - the Aesthetics Police!

Perhaps Ralph Lauren could head it up. We could morph into an ersatz-British Isles. It would be heaven!!!!

But wait - a medieval castle might actually fit into that scenario!

JQ said...

Maybe they stalled the construction to get the proper permits for a moat.

And a Stable for their dragons

Anonymous said...

There is no legitimate reason that I can think of. This is totally outrageous. The City can't do anything? And, our politicians cannot see that the City does what needs to be done. Pathetic state of affairs.

Our politicians have done nothing to enact legislation to remedy this situation. Why?

1. They know better than you what is going on. They do everything to weaken the fabric of a community making it easier to manage (for them) and easier to develop (for their political donor base, developers)

2. the painful passive public.

next question

Anonymous said...

When it gets finished it will look even worse, just wait.

Anonymous said...

This should be key to putting an end to this ... Isn't there a set period of time in which building under a variance must be completed?

PREMISES AFFECTED - 179 16 Grand Central Parkway ...,%202004/299-03-BZ.doc
PREMISES AFFECTED - 179‑16 Grand Central Parkway, Borough of Queens. ... "A Zoning Variance will be required by the Board of Standards and Appeals as ..

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons that trying to promote tourism or the image of Queens is a no win situation.

The place is a mess easily visible to the outside world from any traffic artery or transportation line.

Anonymous said...

Maybe now that the Post is on it someone will act. One of the weeklies tried twice already since 2010 and nothing happened.

It's just sad.

Anonymous said...


The house is being worked on. Windows and fresh paint. We'll see what happens ...
Neighbors must be relieved I'm sure. They pay a lot of money to live there and for that property to sit there in that condition for so long it's a shame on NYC!

Unknown said...

Luckily they kind of finished the exterior. They added brown paint, but everything else is the same. They didn't even started with the interior. Hope they can finish this crap soon.

Nicole said...

As a child, I loved passing the unfinished home on the side of the highway. I still enjoy it to this day. I had constantly told my mom that i was going to buy that house and finish it. I like seeing it and they just started to rebuild it. I still like it.