The building at 78-19 Jamaica Avenue has been in the news again with reports that the city and the courts are finally getting tough with George Kochabe, the owner of the structure which has not been repaired or torn down since it collapsed on April 12th of last year. Since that collapse, the building has been causing ongoing damage to the home of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The ongoing damage, which includes massive flooding and mold damage (in addition to threatening the structural stability of the WRHVAC’s building) has been the reason the WRHVAC’s insurance company won’t fix their building. It has kept the Ambulance Corps from entering their building, and has forced their tenant – The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center – to move to the American Legion Hall on the other side of Woodhaven. The result of this has been a tremendous financial burden on the Ambulance Corps which threatens their existence.
At the most recent meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, Department of Buildings community liaison Ken Lazar stated that time had run out for the owner and that the courts were putting in place a schedule that the owner had to make. Read more details about this meeting in Phil Corso’s coverage for The Forum (click here).
The WRBA has recently spoke with both State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. and State Assemblyman Mike Miller and they have confirmed that this court-set schedule exists and that missing any of the deadlines would result in the demolition of the building by HPD (Department of Housing Preservation and Development).
Here is that schedule set by the court:
June 27 – owner to present and file plans
July 3 – contractor to file permits
July 14 – start work at the site
July 18 (and each week afterwards) – engineer to file report on work done
October 14 – completion of work
We hope that this schedule is adhered to by the courts and by the city and this isn’t just another chapter in the long game that’s been going on. We’ve been promised that time has run out and that this schedule is a strict one – we hope for the sake of the Volunteer Ambulance Corps and our Seniors that this is, indeed, the case.