Teenagers smash a window and kick down a door. A Locust Point resident calls 311. The city levies a fine. Workers arrive at 3177 Glennon Place to make minor repairs. The teenagers break in again.
It’s a story Madeline “Cookie” Allard knows all too well. She and her neighbors have waited three years for Locust Point’s most notorious developer to clean up his mess – a two-story vacant house on this quiet Bronx peninsula.
“He’s abandoned it,” Allard said. “Debris and alcohol bottles everywhere – it’s a nightmare.”
Technically, Boaz Smolarchik hasn’t abandoned 3177 Glennon Place. But the house remains unfinished and Smolarchik’s enterprises owe the city a freighter in fines.
Neighbors have lodged 29 complaints against the property since 2005, six this year alone, according to the Department of Buildings. The location has incurred 13 building violations, amounting to $20,650, $19,650 unpaid.
Smolarchik, affiliated with GDY Properties of Jamaica Bay, Autumn Equities of Briarwood and now United Homes of Queens, acquired the Locust Point lot in 2005. He built three houses – 3177 Glennon Place, 3174 Hatting Place and 80 Longstreet Avenue – where zoning only permitted two.
The city ordered Smolarchik to demolish his 80 Longstreet Avenue house and slapped him with a $150,000 Parks Department fine – one for each of the 27 trees Smolarchik chopped down to extend to Longstreet Avenue. Smolarchik, who could not be reached for comment, paid the Parks Department fine in 2006, a representative from the City Comptroller’s office said.
Only 3174 Hatting Place, a duplex, is now occupied. Katie Rodriguez bought the house from United Homes in May 2007.
“We’re having issues with the developer too,” Rodriguez said. “My front yard – they never finished it.”
According to the Department of Finance’s online register, Autumn Equities released its mortgage on 3177 Glennon Place to another firm this April.
Allard recently asked the 45th Precinct to send more police by the vacant house. She and other Locust Point residents worry about the teens carousing inside.
“The house isn’t secure,” said Jerry Landi, vice president of the Locust Point Civic Association. “We’re afraid the kids will start a fire and burn the block down.”
Landi, Allard and incoming civic association president Will Cuevas understand that the house is a teenage hangout, but frown on its destruction.
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” Landi said. “We used to hide out in the newly constructed houses and drink beer. The problem is – these kids are intent on breaking things.”
The house’s windows were replaced roughly six months ago, and promptly broken again. Inside, 3177 Glennon sports black graffiti across its walls.
Someone chucked a toilet bowl onto the lawn recently. The house’s month-old construction fence – replaced in November at City Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s behest – is already sagging.
“It’s disgusting,” said a Glennon place neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. “Rats all over the place. My dog came back the other night with a dead mouse.”
The neighbor has phoned 311 “I don’t know how many times.” She heard teens in the vacant house all summer, yet didn’t confront them.
“I don’t want my windows broken,” she said.
It’s unclear what will happen next. Locust Point rumors suggest Smolarchik has gone bankrupt, and a woman who rents half of 3174 Hatting Place heard the property was for sale.
“Either knock it down and start over, or give it to someone else,” the Glennon Place neighbor said.
“There should be a date in the sand,’ he said. “I would love to see action within three months.”
According to Vacca, the city can act to secure the property, but no law requires residential occupation.
©2008 Community News Group