Tenants hung up over expanding scaffold

They said “tear down that scaffold” — not expand it!

Tenants at one Pelham Parkway apartment complex where construction has been going on for half a decade are griping again, now that new management has only expanded a series of pesky scaffolding into the courtyard.

Residents at 2100 Bronx Park East have endured a dark green wooden scaffold around the perimeter of their building since 2009. Tenants have complained that the so-called “sidewalk sheds” attract vagrants and drug dealers to their property, and have long pushed for them to be removed.

But now, with the building under new management, the sidewalk sheds have been expanded. The building’s once bucolic courtyard is now mostly shrouded in darkness, with the dark sheds crisscrossing the garden.

Shrouded in dark

The darkness has some long-time tenants feeling trapped in an unsafe situation.

“I’m afraid for my own safety, because I know that there are drug deals going on,” said Elaine Feder, a long time resident and co-president of the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association.

Construction has been underway for years on the series of six-story apartment building’s facade and parapet. Long time residents like Feder remember growing up in a nice building, with a doorman and a lush green courtyard, before the building started to deteriorate and the repairs started.

Glimmer of hope?

But Feder said there may be a glimmer of hope with a new property manager that came in earlier this year.

New building manager Simply Better took over from SW Management, a company run by real estate mogul Stanley Wasserman. And though new management has only increased the sidewalk sheds, they are at least open to dialogue, said Feder.

“They are a hell of lot more responsive than the other landlords, who never responded to my letters,” she said.

Building management told Feder recently that management was “working with their engineering team” to see if they could provide “enhanced lighting” in the courtyard, according to an email reviewed by the Bronx Times Reporter.

Management also said they would “look at the feasibility” of installing security cameras at the complex.

Any sort of help could not come soon enough for residents looking for a way out of the dark.

“This courtyard is a death trap,” said resident Eve Demian. “I have never seen such an unbelievable disregard for human safety,”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkoch‌[email protected]‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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