Best On India

Ever had one of those things you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to but never do? This post is one of those. After much delay I am going to clue you guys in about the happenings at 156 and 158 India Street. On May 19, 2008 a tipster wrote:

The house one lot down from my boyfriend and I received an order to vacate at about 3 pm on Saturday. Fire trucks blocked the street and stayed put.

We went down to get some food and I asked one of the ten or so firemen who were standing around one of the trucks what was going on. He said the building at 156 India was about to collapse and they had to immediately evacuate. I asked if this was due to undermining of the foundation because of construction at the neighboring lot (158 India Street — Ed. Note) and he said no.

It was just due to years and years and years of neglect…. We saw people taking everything they could carry and getting out… and ever since there’s been a police car parked out front of the house with a spot light pointed at the open door to the building.

Funny thing is, about two weeks ago my boyfriend saw a guy coming home to 156 India with a chick, presumably his date…

Male Resident of 156 India: Here we are! My new place…
Chick: You live here…? (Incredulous look)
M.R.156 India: I know, I know, it looks shitty from the outside, but wait ’til you see my space!

Lucky for her she saw it before it collapses into a heap.

This house was evacuated May 17, 2008 after the F.D.N.Y. had the Department of Buildings checked the structural stability on a non-load bearing wall following a complaint of the “BUILDING SHAKING/VIBRATING/STRUCT STABILITY AFFECTED“. The Department of Buildings’s findings are as follows:

(HAZARDOUS) FAILURE TO MAINTAIN EXTERIOR BUILDING WALL. DEFECT IS:REAR WALL IS ROTTED,DEFECTIVE AND PULLING AWAY FROM WOOD FRAME. FIRE ESCAPE IS IN DANGER DUE TO AFFECTED REAR WALL AND COULD DISLODGE IF USED.

Pretty bad, eh? Brace yourself because it gets worse.

The owner of this building was cited by the Department of Buildings for more or less the same problem OVER A YEAR AGO. As you can see, Mr. Nealis was fined $2,500. He has yet to pay up. In fact, if you browse the ECB violations for 156 India Street, you’ll notice non-payment of fines and non-compliance seem to be his modus operandi. Here’s one of my personal faves. It dates from May 5, 2007:

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN BLDG. NOTED: AT CELLAR OF FRONT BLDG=NO FIREPROOF ENCLOSURE FOR BOILER RM,MISSING FIREPROOFING AT CEILING AT VARIOUS LOCATION,ROTTED JOISTS NEXT TO BOILER RM,LARGE AMOUNT OF DEBRIS THRU-OUT

Gee, that sounds really fucking dangerous. You might be interested to know that once again a fine of $2,500 was levied. It remains unpaid. Stick we me— it only gets more interesting. Take this fun fact, for example.

Kevin Nealis is (or at least was) the owner of another property in Greenpoint with an interesting history: 95 Clay Street. If this address sounds familiar to you, it is because I have written about it. Repeatedly. An apartment building was recently built there with no permits whatsoever.

I don’t know about you, but this Nealis chap sounds like a fun guy. What’s more, he may very well be responsible for a Greenpoint first:

A construction site being evacuated because the existing building next to it posed an imminent threat to public safety.

Or did the chaps at 158 India Street (Best On India LLC!*)have a hand in the demise of their neighbor? Their brand-spanking new Stop Work Order would certainly suggest so:

OBSERVATION OF DEFECTIVE AND SUB-STANDARD WORK IN PROGRESS

I suppose only the Department of Buildings and the owner of 156 and Best on India LLC only know for certain. There is, however, one thing I can assert with total confidence: thanks to one landlord’s total disregard for the safety of his tenants and the Department of Buildings appalling lack of effective enforcement six individuals and/or families are now homeless. This is inexcusable.

On the brighter side, at least this family was spared being displaced. I wonder who their landlord is?

Miss Heather

*I am NOT kidding. Click here and see for yourself!

Comments

2 Comments on Best On India

  1. bookeldawna on Fri, 20th Jun 2008 1:22 pm
  2. Miss Heather,

    if you really, really want to hear an unbelievable story about this building and why 6k dollars just got sucked out of my a/c today and the truth about ten years of those loveable Nealises, jsut drop me a line. right now, i have to run to the bank to save all the money i have in the world. this story involves Lech Walensa, dead bodies, rats and probably the greatest GP slumlords of them all.

  3. superclam on Sat, 26th Jul 2008 10:17 pm
  4. I guess I’m late in responding to this, but my then gf & now wife lived at 156, in the back house. I should state that I am a structural engineer. The first time I went there, happy to be invited back to a new girl’s house for the first time, I was absolutely floored by the condition of both buildings on the property.
    There were holes in the front house that birds had happily nested in. The hole thing had an odd slant to it. Her friends who lived there asked me if I could do anything, but I knew that reporting it would get the place condemned, leaving them with no place to go and moderate fines for the Owner. Which is pretty much what happened.
    My wife moved in with me to a nice place a few blocks away last year, but one of her friends stayed, only to come home to fire trucks & police in front of her house one night. She was given a small window to get her stuff & find a new place to live.
    As a younger single woman with family & friends in the area, she ended up ok, but there were families in the building who had been there for over 10 years, and I know one Polish family had a profoundly disabled wheelchair ridden child. I can’t imagine what they did.
    That there is often no significant penalty to owners/landlords like this is just wrong. There should be criminal penalties associated with this type of abuse.
    Rant over!

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