Saturday, May 10, 2014
Squatters invade unfinished Huang houses
From the Queens Chronicle:
Pat Martin’s troubles began 12 years ago and they’ve only gotten worse.
The Bayside homeowner has the bad luck of living next door to a Tommy Huang building project gone wrong, and despite pleas to the city for help, there’s little she can do about it.
Huang is a Flushing developer who with his wife and son was banned last year by the state from real estate construction or sales for five years over various offenses in Queens. They pleaded guilty to felony securities fraud.
In 2012, Huang purchased a single-family ranch house at 39-39 223 St., next door to Martin. He tore it down and replaced it with one house on 223rd Street and three on the side of the property, along with a new access road that was given the name Mia Drive.
According to several neighbors in the pricey neighborhood and area elected officials, they have never seen a building project done in such a shoddy manner. The street overlooks Little Neck Bay.
Workmen excavated too close to Martin’s property, causing a retaining wall to collapse. Her property lost 3 feet of land, fencing, lighting and the irrigation system. A court case was recently settled, which Martin could not discuss, but it was drawn out for years and legal fees mounted.
There has been a stop-work order on the property since 2007 and Huang cannot get certificates of occupancy for the houses.
The first-floor windows are boarded up but that hasn’t stopped vandals from ransacking one of the houses and holding parties in others, Martin said. She believes people are living in the houses from time to time and there is power because she sees lights on at night.
Last Friday, however, was the last straw for the beleaguered Baysider. Police were called to the site by a neighbor who saw activity on the property. Martin said several partygoers ran onto her property to escape. She screamed and they took off.