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Residents upset over delayed renovations

Bronx Times
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Renovations of a Norwood apartment building are causing multiple inconveniences, according to its residents.

The construction that is currently taking place at 3034 Grand Concourse, located between 202nd and 203rd streets, has generated numerous inconveniences

Its residents claim that the process is taking way longer than expected and is affecting their health in the process, among other problems.

The five-story, 55-unit residential building began undergoing renovations in early April.

Prior to the beginning of the renovations, building landlord Steven Finkelstein notified each tenant of the building’s situation and stating that the renovation plans, which includes new hot water service, apartment doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, painted walls and even a lobby security camera, would take between ten days and two weeks in total to complete.

However, as of Thursday, April 30, residents complained that the renovation process was taking way longer.

Tenants stated that some apartment units haven’t even been started yet.

“As of right now, these renovations don’t look like such a good thing for this building,” said Bronx-born Margaret Schroder, who has lived in the building for 65 years. “It’s taking the contractor over a month just to complete the kitchens, and even though they are finally starting to work on the bathrooms, this process has been prolonged - everything could have been finished in a week or two.”

Schroder, along with other tenants also complained about potential health issues.

During the renovation process, dust and other debris has collected in the hallways of the building from previous weeks of work - which has left various residents, who don’t have an elevator in the entire building, with cardiovascular difficulties.

Many tenants have filed complaints with the Health Department.

“It wasn’t until four weeks after these renovations began that the Department of Buildings inspected the building and put double-sheeted plastic over each apartment door - at least it protects us a bit from the debris,” Schroder said. “However, this is still a safety hazard, and the right thing to do would be for them to offer face masks so residents don’t have to breath in any harmful chemicals.”

“Yes, they put double-sheeted plastic on the doors - but it’s already falling off some doors,” said resident Hector Carrion, who has lived in the building for 18 years. His wife, Claudia, had asthma prior to these renovations, making the situation more difficult for them. “This is ridiculous - they said these renovations would take ten days to complete, and it’s taking at least four times longer than that.”

Other problems have surfaced as a result of the renovations.

Residents who were forced to order food in or had to stay in a hotel are concerned they will not be reimbursed.

During the renovations, there was also a temporary bathroom placed on the fifth floor on each side of the building for residents whose bathrooms were out of order.

The landlord insists that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, giving a timetable of one to three more months for all renovations to be completed.

“Many residents have issues that they need assistance with during this renovation process, and I am doing my best to help them,” Finkelstein said. “It is important to work with all residents to achieve the overall goal, maintaining a good relationsh­ip.”

“I know this is a huge inconvenience for these residents right now, especially with the delays. The process is difficult, but these renovations will eventually result in a better place to live and to own,” he said.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.
Updated 5:00 pm, July 9, 2018
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