In a building that has been described by Pelham Parkway leaders as the worst in the neighborhood, the Department of Housing and Preservation and Development is working in conjunction with local groups to make the building livable.
The 136-unit, six-story apartment building at 750-60 Pelham Parkway South had a blaze that left five apartments completely destroyed last year –bringing the need for long-needed repairs to a head.
At one point this building, which is owned by SG2 Realty, had almost 900 HPD violations, including many C-class violations – the most serious type.
“I have been told the building currently has around 390 violations, which I can’t understand, because I don’t see any work being done,” said Cathy Soto, of tenant-advocacy organization Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation.
Tenant association president Oscar Ruiz said that what really riled him was that at one point five out of six entrances to the building had broken locks, allowing anyone access. He also takes issue with the building’s broken intercom system.
“If you have access to one building, you have access to all six” Ruiz said. “Only 752 Pelham Parkway South is not locked now. The landlord told me that the building’s entrances have video surveillance, but what are cameras going to do if you are already the victim of a robbery because anyone can get in?”
Ruiz said that the hot water pumps on both sides of the large building need repair, and that many on the upper floors are without hot water for hours at a time.
Ruiz also stated that when the landlord opened the dumbwaiter shafts to install wires for the heating system sensors last summer, they were never resealed.
“Dumbwaiter shafts are wide open and need to be sealed,” Ruiz said. “Some have old ropes in them, and who knows what can happen.”
He cited several incidents last summer when he said garbage being stored in the basement of the building was lit on fire. Ruiz said that upkeep of the building has gotten worse since SG2 Realty purchased the property over a year ago.
Currently, Pelham Parkway-based NIDC is organizing a rent reduction in the entire building until more HPD C-class violations are resolved.
Soto said she hopes either the landlord will make the necessary repairs, or have the City make them and then send a bill.
“HPD is suing the landlord,” Soto said. “We are currently organizing a rent reduction in the building with 61 individual units already participating.”
Calls to SG2 Realty were not returned.
©2009 Community News Group