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Civic steps in to spruce up Whitestone Walgreens

Photo by Yinghao Luo
By Joe Anuta

The result of a bizarre act of vandalism was finally cleaned up in Whitestone, ending an eyesore’s reign over 14th Avenue.

For more than a year, the exterior of the Walgreens on 14th Avenue and Cross Island Parkway had been pockmarked with dents incurred in a mysterious act of nighttime aggression.

“It looked like somebody shot it up with a machine gun,” said Kim Cody, president of the Greater Whitestone Taxpayer’s Civic Association, which helped to get the company to repaint the structure. “There were white marks all over the building.”

According to Cody and the store’s manager, Lucas Sokol, the walls of the nationwide retailer seemed to have been beaten with a baseball bat.

“Somebody vandalized the whole entire front of the building,” Sokol said.

Instead of solid brick or concrete, the outside of the building is composed of a firm, foam-like substance pliable enough to be compressed into small craters, Sokol said.

And to make matters worse, the damaged outlet sat right at one of the entrances to the neighborhood, according to Cody.

“It is one of the first businesses that people see when they come into town,” he said.

A resident first brought the problem to the attention of state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), who then mentioned the dappled nature of the walls to Cody.

Cody talked with the store manager, but then made a call to the corporate offices of the nationwide retailer and described the eyesore and its negative effect on the community.

Company officials listened.

Sokol said Cody’s call to the offices provided extra motivation to expedite the repairs.

“His impact definitely helped to resolve the situation,” he said.

The corporate office hired a contractor, who went out to the site to spruce up the walls of the pharmacy, which now enjoy a fresh coat of paint.

“We got it done,” said Sokol, who has only been overseeing the Whitestone location for little more than a month.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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