Fire-damaged CI eatery secured

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After a ravenous fire destroyed much of the interior of the Neptune Inn, a popular City Island eatery, security issues continued to plague the site.

Now Senator Jeff Klein has stepped in to ensure the site becomes secured once again, as the derelict property remains in real estate limbo, with a deal expected shortly for a sale.

“Clearly, this has become a community eyesore over more than two years, with vandals entering the property,” Klein said, who also noted that rodents have been reported at the site. “People’s houses and other places of historic interest are nearby,” he further explained as a main reason why action had to be taken.


The restaurant, located at 35 City Island Avenue, on the corner of Rochelle Street, suffered internal damage and a partial roof collapse when the fire tore through the site several years ago.

Holes in a plexi-glass dining patio’s windows left the exterior of the former restaurant exposed to the elements, vandals and small animals. The property’s owner, listed on Department of Buildings records, as 35 City Island Avenue LLC, hasn’t made efforts to fix the problem.

John Doyle, of Klein’s office, contacted the Department of Buildings at the request of the senator, which sent out a five-day notice to the property owner, demanding he secure the property and exterminate the building.

Since the DOB has not received a “hold letter” from the owner, stating that he will make the necessary repairs himself, DOB requested the Department of Housing Preservation and Development take steps to hire a contractor to do the work, but not at the City’s expense, according to the DOB. 

“We got the DOB to go into the property and take steps to do a full clean up and inspection,” Klein continued. “The DOB will bill the owner, who lives in Florida.”

The property is currently under contract for sale, and has been for about a year and a half, according to City Island realtor Jacqueline Kyle Kall of Port of Kall Realty. She expects a deal to be forthcoming soon.

The buyer is rumored to be Sammy Chirnin, owner of the Sammy’s Lobster Box, Sammy’s Fish Box and the Seashore Restaurant on City Island.

Klein explained that when the DOB cleans-up, exterminates and secures a property, passing on the costs to the owner, it’s much more expensive than taking the alternative violation fines.

If the state that the building prior to clean up, however, returns thereafter, Klein vowed to make sure the owner pays dearly for his negligence.

“I know the building is up for sale,” Klein noted. “However, as long as the property belongs to the present owner, we are going to make sure that he meets his obligations.”  

Updated 5:30 pm, October 21, 2011
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