A ‘zombie house’ in Throggs Neck is back – but actually, it never left.
The abandoned home located at 3011 Schley Avenue, has plagued the community for years.
The below-street grade house is filled with garbage and debris that reaches up to two feet high and provides a nesting place for raccoons, skunks, squirrels, rats and mice.
The property has been neglected for years and is not secured.
Children, many from I.S. 192, have been spotted entering the house.
Neighbors say that kids who enter the home are using drugs, among other illicit activities. The green ‘X’ above the open front door has not deterred youngsters from entering.
The back of the property is flooded with water at least a foot deep.
During the spring and summer months, mosquitos breed in the stagnant water.The water situation is a particular concern for neighbors, who worry about the growing Zika virus and the upcoming West Nile virus season.
“The house is in limbo – it’s horrible,” said Angela Salamone, a longtime resident of Logan Avenue who has been fighting this problem since 2007. “This situation has lasted far too long and I’m losing faith in our community leaders, because nobody has done anything about this.”
“This is not just an eyesore – this is a safety issue,” said Margaret Alvarez, who also lives on Logan Avenue. “What has to happen? Does a child need to get hurt or killed for somebody to wake up and do something about this?”
“Nothing ever happens with this property – where is the action?” said Louis Ragusa, a next door neighbor on Hollywood Avenue who has lived there since 1986. “Here’s a quick and easy solution – give us a Caterpillar and bulldoze the property, it would be the best thing for it.”
Ragusa added that I.S. 192, located just a block away at 650 Hollywood Avenue between Randall and Philip avenues, should notify its parents so they can make sure their children stay away from the property.
“Just watch – it’s going to take a kid getting hurt or even worse, killed, for somebody who has power over the situation to do something,” Ragusa added.
Lynn Gerbino, president of the Throggs Neck Homeowners Association, said, “I have done and will continue to do everything I can to assist the situation at hand – because this is just terrible. How can residents sell their homes with a house like that in the neighborhood?”
“Every few years, this zombie property seems to rise from the dead yet again,” said Senator Jeff Klein, who has worked extensively to clean up this abandoned property over the last seven years.
“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of why my zombie property legislation is necessary – as it will go a long way towards helping neighborhoods such as this one.”
Klein’s bill would require banks or loan servicing agents to maintain abandoned properties from the point they become vacant, as well as create a statewide registry of vacant properties and establish a toll-free hotline for residents to report properties.
J.P. Morgan Chase, who currently owns the property, could not be reached for comment.