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Allerton petitions against drug clinic at 2500 Williamsbridge Road

Bronx Times
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The realty firm contracted by a property owner to sell an Allerton property that has the neighborhood up in arms stated that a deal is not imminent.

A purchase offer from drug treatment center operator Carnegie Hill Institue is one of many offers the seller is considering, the agency claims.

The Manhattan-based drug treatment counselling service, presented plans to Community Board 11 on Tuesday, September 10 regarding its intention to open a drug treatment clinic in the brick, one-story corner property at 2500 Williamsbridge Road between Hone and Mace avenues.

However, in a recent statement the realtor, EXIT Realty said, “All we can say is that the owner has not accepted any offers at this time. Offers have been coming in and the property is still available for sale,” wrote EXIT’s president, Sonny Vataj.

“This property has been shown to multiple potential buyers thus far, and multiple offers have been presented through this time,” he continued, confirming that the property is listed for $1,000,000.

Community Board 11 chairman Al D’Angelo confirmed that EXIT Realty on Allerton Avenue hasn’t closed on the property with Carnegie Hill.

“I think (the real estate firm) is trying to do the right thing for the community,” D’Angelo said. The board sent a letter to EXIT discouraging the transaction, he added.

“I believe that if they get other buyers to match (Carnegie Hill’s offer) then it won’t become a clinic,” the chairman continued.

Vataj’s statement arrived the same day as another community rally and petition drive was held in opposition to the proposed drug treatment facility’s opening at the Williamsbridge Road location on Monday, September 30.

Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez joined minister Irene Estrada and other east Bronx community members in showing public disapproval of Carnegie Hill Institute’s plan to convert the unoccupied corner property into an 822-licensed, NYS-funded drug treatment program.

“I do not support this location for a multitude of reasons,” the assemblywoman said, as she pointed to P.S. 89’s schoolyard which is located directly across from the proposedl facility, expressing concerns of needles and other drug paraphernalia winding up on its grounds.

“There are many other schools in the immediate surrounding area as well as nursing homes too,” Fernandez mentioned, saying that her district already has adequate drug treatment facilities at Waters Place and Jacobi Hospital, as well as other locations.

She also sent a letter to the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, recommending against the facility receiving state approval.

“This is not to fear monger or stigmatize against treatment facilities. Our reasons for opposition are very clear,” Fernandez said.

Estrada has collected almost 1,000 signatures from local residents against the facility’s siting, explaining that the treatment center is in close proximity to P.S. 89 and nearby St. Lucy’s, along with other ones.

“The community was not notified at all. To put a facility like this near children without talking to us (first) is unacceptab­le,” Estrada said.

Palush Palushaj, who owns Dardania European Grill directly across from P.S. 89 on Mace Avenue, while signing Estrada’s petition, said that the facility would be inappropriate so close to young children.

He pointed out a possible double standard in the law if Carnegie Hill is allowed to open at that location.

“I am not allowed to have a liquor license because of how close I am to the school,” he said.

“But this facility would be only a few feet away and dispensing drugs? That isn’t right,” Palushaj continued.

Updated 10:28 am, October 10, 2019
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