Column: Knights of Columbus building up for sale

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Knights of Columbus, located at 3243 Ampere Ave.
Photo courtesy Google Maps

Winter weather arrived and once again our Department of Sanitation rose to the occasion. A big thank you to New York’s Strongest for their dedicated, diligent efforts; adeptly performing snow removal and garbage collection duties while battling harsh weather during an abbreviated holiday schedule.  

Neighborhood concern grows over the potential Knights of Columbus building sale at Ampere and Research avenues. This building of cherished memories is a prime component of the neighborhood heartbeat and our Election Day voting location. The Knights of Columbus, former home to International Caterers, was the community site for many milestones family events. This place of community fraternization also served as meeting space for multiple organizations including A.A.R.P. and Spencer Estate Civic Association. 

The property is owned by Guiding Star Council Homeowners Inc., which according to public record has 501c designation. Complexity can be attached to the sale of 501c-owned properties. Research indicates an easy pathway for sale is to another 501c organization. Organizations such as 501c serve a variety of functions, some community assets, others possible detriments. The Guiding Star Group’s surprising lack of transparency and unwillingness to discuss the site’s future with our community, although within their right, is an example of improper community relations.

Spencer Estate Civic Association has reached out to newly elected Councilwoman Marjorie Velázquez, state Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Community Board 10 District Manager Matt Cruz. We confidently pray they will follow the example of New York’s Strongest and rise to the occasion during our time of need. 

Food for Thought: Once upon a time Carnegie Hill Institute, a prominent substance abuse treatment facility, reputedly sought a location in close proximity of the Community Board 10 District Office. Quick intercessions, across the political spectrum, led by Cruz and staff altered this potential course of action. 

Spencer Estate is a small, intimate community. Less than 3/8-square mile in size, this neighborhood is neither large enough nor equipped to absorb a major community altering event. Clearly, at this point in time, the request for influential interventions to eliminate community concern is justifiable and necessary. 

To express concern please contact:

Councilwoman Velázquez: 718-931-1721 

Assemblyman Benedetto: 718-892-2235

Bronx CB10: 718-892-1161

Community Footnotes: 

Spencer Estate Civic is lobbying for crime camera installation at Middletown Road and Bruckner Boulevard northbound near Pelham Bay Park. During the past two years violent criminal behavior has accompanied the plethora of petty crimes and nuisance issues that plague our neighborhood. Our low-density neighborhood will not reach the metrics required for increased police presence. A crime camera at this strategic location will complement an existing camera at Bruckner Boulevard and Wilkinson Avenue.   

DOT has approved requests for a speed hump along Stadium Avenue between Pelham Bay Park and Ampere Avenue; the exact location to be determined. 

Temperature is bone chilling cold. The errand will take a quick minute; the car is warm, temptation sets in. Please shut off the engine and lock car doors. Based on 2020 statistics, 30% of vehicles stolen within the 45th Precinct footprint were left running and unattended. Don’t become a victim.

Monthly meetings resume in March; however, the traditional winter break is likely to be interrupted by circumstances requiring ad hoc attentions. 

If we want to keep and reap the blessings of our fine quality of life, we must endure the fatigue of supporting it. Our community has traditionally exhibited a “We are Family attitude.” Now is the time to let it shine. Communicate; make that phone call, text message or email. Please check on family, friends and neighbors especially the elderly and vulnerable. Any area homeowner or renter interested in the Spencer Estate Civic Association send-email to spencerestatecivic@gmail.com. 

Remember: Community=Common-Unity and Inclusion brings Solutions. 

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