Tenant’s actions leave property owner holding the garbage bag

The building, located at 2134 Barnes Avenue, that has been subject to complaints from the community for being an eyesore in the neighborhood. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Area residents are disappointed with the upkeep of a building that has become an eyesore in the community.

The building, located at 2134 Barnes Avenue, has been issued five violations in 2008 from the Department of Sanitation regarding the conditions surrounding the home. Three were issued in April, August and September for dirty area, one in July for dirty sidewalk, and one for failure to remove snow and ice.

The current tenant is a doctor’s facility, on the ground level. According to Ismael Fernandez, owner of the property, this tenant is the only thing blocking him from knocking down the building to replace it with a brand new building.

“The doctor occupying the first floor keeps throwing bags of garbage on the property,” Fernandez said. “Right now I have someone there to sweep the backyard and pick up the garbage each week.”

Despite these claims, garbage and waste continue to build up along the side and back of the house, upsetting the community who have been aware of this problem for some time.

Fernandez explained that when the tenant’s lease expires in June 2009, he will immediately begin plans to develop a luxury condominium building.

However, despite the current situation, the area residents are not excited about the construction of new condominiums.

“Pelham Parkway is being crushed by all the new buildings, there is no parking available and the schools are bursting at the seams. Where are these children going to go to school? We will also have to increase police presence,” said Edith Blitzer of the Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association. “I would like to see a nice park or a community center were people can go, something that will enrich the community.”

According to the Department of Buildings, plans for this property were submitted in December of 2007, but disapproved in April of 2008.

According to Fernandez it was merely a technicality, and part of the normal process towards getting Building’s approval. He is addressing those issues to bring the plan into compliance.

“The property has been sitting there for a while and we are ready. The DOB is not going to approve this until the demolition of the current building is completed,” stated Allan Bolton, budget manager on the building project. “Ismael can’t file for the demolition permit until the tenant is out of the building, so the project is on hold until the tenant is out and the building is down.”

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