NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A historic landmark on the Upper West Side is becoming a historic eyesore.
Residents say scaffolding has been up in front of the building for 15 years, but add in all that time there have been no repairs.
And as CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Monday, they say things recently got worse.
Thanks to black netting and supported pipe scaffolding, the views outside the pre-war building at 51 W. 86th St. are looking dark and dreary these days.
“It’s just filthy. It’s really gross,” said Lianne Ritche, president of the building’s tenants association.
“And, of course, we have a parade of pigeon poopers out there, which is a health issue,” tenant Roberta Maxwell added.
Tenants say Weinreb Management Company installed it without any notice almost 10 months ago, but no work has been done.
They worry it’ll be up there for 15 years, just like a sidewalk shed, which they said was installed in 2006.
The Department of Buildings told CBS2 the sidewalk shed is supposed to protect pedestrians from the unsafe brick façade that the agency says is in “a state of disrepair.”
But in all that time, residents of the 16-story building say the landlord has only touched the shed.
“They are attending to the shed by painting it and making it more attractive, which is ridiculous. Fix the damn building,” tenant Alisa Matlovsky said.
And it’s hard to tell, but on the front door there are actually work permits dating to 2014 and 2017. The permits are for things like repairing the façade, and replacing terra cotta expired.
The DOB has issued violations worth more than $100,000 in civil penalties to the owners.
Multiple messages to the company were not returned.
Last week, DOB issued a stop-work order on the pipe scaffolding.
“Will they assure us that the stop order of work, which was just put up on the outside, is meaningful, because there was no work that was started,” Maxwell said.
“When is he going to make the repairs and why does he refuse to inform any of the tenants of what’s going on?” tenants association vice president David Rosen added.
“The politicians and the landlords need to create something so we know what’s going on in the city with this mess of a scaffolding,” Ritche said.
Tenants told Rozner politicians tell them it’s a private building and they can’t help.
As the scaffold collects dust, residents say the landlord and the city are keeping them in the dark.
The DOB said it will take aggressive action to compel landlords to make needed repairs, but it’s not clear what that action entails.
Rozner spoke with a tenant attorney who believes 15 years is a city record for scaffolding to be up. He said a housing court judge recently awarded a tenant in a separate case rent back, because of ongoing scaffolding and construction work.