Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bricks Sail off Boerum Hill Eyesore

Sorry we haven't posted in a while. We'll try to get back to a regular(ish) schedule.

At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3rd, a loud bang rang out from 207 Wyckoff Street in Boerum Hill, a former tenement that has been sitting abandoned for approximately 20 years. The noise resulted from a section of brick falling off the top of the West-facing wall of the building. The bricks fell into a parking lot abutting 207 Wyckoff and apparently destroyed two cars (a Mazda Myata and a Chrysler PT Cruiser). The fire department came shortly afterward and sealed off part of the parking lot because there is still a lot of loose debris that can fall from the building. Because it happened so late (or early), the parking lot was empty and thankfully nobody was injured.

The back story on this building is interesting. For as long as we've been around these parts (which is over 12 years), there has been a U.S. Realty sign on the side of the building, obviously advertising that 207 Wyckoff is for sale. However, if you call the number (516-829-1001), nobody will answer. So its a mystery as to whether or not the owner wants to sell. Sources on the block tell us that the owner of 207 Wyckoff Street is very delinquent in his taxes on the property. When the city threatens to foreclose on the property, the owner makes arrangements with the city to pay a small portion of the delinquent taxes so he doesn't have to relinquish his prized property to the city. In the meantime, this property has sat delinquent and falling apart for years.

Checking the NYC Department of Buildings Web Page you can see the property, which is visibly in very, very poor shape, has a few violations, and many many complaints. Neighbors on both sides of the building have called the DOB numerous times to complain about falling debris. Unfortunately, the DOB dismissed the complaints saying there is no evidence of falling debris or a failure to maintain the property. Does this qualify as evidence? In addition, the neighbors have been in contact with David Yassky's office (the local City Council Rep) to try to resolve this matter. Unfortunately, after more than four years of letters, site visits and phone calls, nothing has happened.

We asked the locals about what will happen next. Apparently the Fire Department closed off half of the parking lot and they have contacted the DOB, who has issued a summons to repair the building by Oct. 20th. If the building is not repaired by then, a $5,000 fine will be issued. That fine doubles each week until the work is deemed acceptable by the DOB. The unlucky owner of the Myata and PT Cruiser (its the same person), has filed claims with his insurance company and is pondering litigation against the owner of 207 Wyckoff and perhaps some other sources as well.


At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 11:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing that the local govt agencies are acting appropriately and honorably. That building should be condemned, torn down and the owner arrested on tax evasion and negligence charges. Maybe Rattner "The Rat" and JZ "The Block Busta" are the owners!

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