Parking lot disturbs neighbors

The leasing of a parking lot in Pelham Bay to commercial vans and trucks angered residents. The man doing the leasing said he is only trying to make an honest living. Photo by Victor Chu

The recent report that Nathan Plummer has abandoned his plans to convert the former Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center’s D’Urso Pavilion into an assisted living facility has precipitated a problem on Continental Avenue – an unkempt parking lot.

When Plummer originally contracted to lease the hospital property on Pelham Parkway and St. Paul Avenue, he also leased a city-owned parcel down the block to use for parking.

However, with the project dead and funds low, Plummer rented the spaces to trucks and large vans for overnight parking. The parking lot’s neighbors demanded the trucks be removed.

Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association president Ed Romeo said it was his understanding that the parking lot was supposed to be an amenity for Plummer Pavilion, at 1870 Pelham Parkway South. He did not think that it should be used for other purposes.

Now that the project is closed and will not proceed, the Department of Transportation will step in and take responsibility for the parking lot.

The lot is being inspected by that agency. It will be transferred back under DOT’s jurisdiction shortly. Once the transfer is complete, DOT will inspect the lot and look into any issues related to the property.

“[DOT] closed us down and now there is no parking there,” Plummer confirmed.

Even though the vehicles in the lot are gone, Romeo has said he will remain vigilant of what comes next for both the parking lot and the former hospital property.

“Now that Plummer has left the building, we have to remain especially conscience of what is going to go into [1870 Pelham Parkway South],” Romeo stated.

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