An “accident waiting to happen” is finally coming down, much to the relief of folks passing by this building with wooden planks as precarious support beams.
The incompletely lopsided Pelham Parkway structure had an addition atop several businesses, with the planks wedged in at an angle to support steel beams above it.
The jimcrack wooden support planks on the building at 2241 Boston Road at Thwaites Place were clearly visible to longtime neighbors like Donal Holway since the building was one of the few three-story business structures in the area.
Holway couldn’t help but notice – and be worried – that some of the horizontal steel beams were being supported by thick wooden posts, tilted diagonally instead of being vertical.
“I saw it was tilted a certain way and I said ‘This is not going to last forever,’” said Holway.
He said he first became nervous about the addition after a 2009 nor’easter blew several bricks off the structure, with them tumbling onto several cars belonging to car dealer Freddy Fred.
“The next wind is going to cause it to fall down on the buildings behind it,” said Holway, 69. “Who wants to see a building fall to rubble?”
The incident also concerned other residents, unhappy to see wooden planks holding up a building already compromised.
“God forbid we do have a strong wind, somebody could get hurt,” said Paula, who declined to give her last name, but said she has been living in the community ever since work started.
Holway said he finally called the city Department of Buildings to complain.
Turns out the building was under new ownership.
Last year Galaxy General Contracting purchased the building “as is” from the previous owner, Ramesh Leonard.
Leonard got a building permit in 2007 to add the new addition, according to DOB records. But right as crews entered phase one of the project, work unexpectedly stopped.
A call to Leonard’s company went unanswered.
The new owner, Steve Zervoudis, wasn’t sure how the wooden planks wound up as substitutes for beams.
“We have to take the building down,” said Zervoudis, who had to wait to get a demolition permit.
And in true bureaucratic fashion, Buildings inspectors slapped Zervoudis with a violation on Wednesday, April 25 for failing to have the proper support frame beams.
“I’m not the least bit surprised they were issued a violation, even though it wasn’t their fault,” said Holway.
Zervoudis said the final wooden post has now been removed.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.