Neighbors slam Sutphin site

By Ivan Pereira

Homeowners living near the construction site on Sutphin Boulevard between 94th and 95th avenues said the recently completed demolition work on the abandoned meat factory caused loud noise and strong vibrations near their homes without warning. Residents, like Donna Clopton, who arranged the meeting, wanted to know why her neighbors were not informed about the possible disturbance ahead of time.”We're having earthquakes daily and we had difficulty finding out who we can complain to,” said Clopton, who lives a block from the site on 148th Street.Kevin Lorenz, the president of Allied CMS, the company in charge of the demolition, apologized for the inconvenience, but said city laws only permitted construction companies to alert next door neighbors of any work.”The problem with that is you have to put [flyers] in someone's mailbox rather than everyone's,” he said. “It wasn't an intentional oversight.”The $260 million mart, which will be operated by South Korean-based Prime Construction, will feature two to three floors of retail and roughly nine stories dedicated to selling electronic wholesale wares. It is the first project for the area, which was rezoned to create more commercial space in southeast Queens.Primary construction is slated to begin sometime this year.Community Board 12 Chairwoman Yvonne Reddick said there should have been a better way for residents to reach out to supervisors for concerns. She cited her work with a Port Authority liaison during the construction of the AirTrain project as a good way for developers to have contact with the community.”We had a close working relationship and it was a good project for everyone,” she said.Lorenz liked the idea and proposed working with the community through regular meetings at which residents could voice their concerns as construction develops.”It's a good time to have this meeting because the demolition is done and a much bigger project is coming,” he saidLorenz and Jessica Baker, the senior project manager for the city Economic Development Corporation, said they would work out the specifics of those future meetings closer to the beginning of construction, but until then he advised residents to prepare for the major work.He told them to photograph their properties, meet with other construction companies involved in the project and get to know their temporary neighbors.”Ultimately, it is the community's responsibility because a person's home is their own private investment,” Lorenz said.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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