Locust Point developer promises upkeep

Tree stumps like this one are all that is left of a row of mature trees that were torn down next to the uncompleted house in Locust Point. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Senator Jeff Klein has intervened to get some action at a partially completed house in Locust Point that has been an eyesore for the past few years. Local residents want it either torn down or completed.

The unfinished house is located at 3177 Glennon Place. The developer built three houses at the location, only to learn that his plans did not comply with the area’s zoning. One of the homes was torn down and one was completed. 3177 Glennon Place remains in limbo, a haven for graffiti and teen drinking.

Senator Klein’s office has contacted New York Community Bank, the bank that is financing the project, requesting that they take some action and get the house secured from vandals who are entering at night. Klein’s office recently received a response from the builder, Yaron Hershco, and his company Autumn Equities.

“Mr. Herschco intends to take every reasonable step available to secure the premises,” Herscho’s lawyer Richard Naidich wrote Klein. “However, as you are no doubt aware, these premises are currently vacant. Short of providing 24-hour security, which is not financially feasible, there is a limit to what Mr. Herscho can do to avoid vandalism at the site.”

The letter stated that the Department of Buildings originally issued permits for three 1-family homes. When those permits were revoked, Herscho stated in the letter to Klein that he lost about $500,000 to $600,000. The letter also said Herscho was fined about $150,000 because he cut down some trees near that location.

The architect self certified the project, a fact the attorney’s letter neglects to address.

Many in Locust Point feel that the developer is bitter about having to remove one of the houses he constructed. Some think that Herscho is leaving the property unfinished in retaliation for the community’s activism.

“What happened is that they put three houses on land that is only large enough for two houses,” said Jerry Landi, vice-president of the Locust Point Civic Association. “We got them to knock down the third house. They broke the law. It is as simple as that.”

Landi said that the developer cut down trees without proper authorization from the parks department. The mature trees that were cut down by the developer are irreplaceable.

“They took down trees that will take years to replace,” Landi said. “Now they are having trouble selling the houses. Everyone in the Locust Point is upset about this.”

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