By Mark Hallum
Bayside’s Community Board 11 picked up a notice from the city Department of Buildings which may hold welcome news for many who walk regularly along Bell Boulevard. The storefront at 42-07 Bell Blvd., which was formerly home to Chelsea Coffee Shop, is officially slated for demolition.
The building, which has been in ruins for years, has become an eyesore with open windows, exposed brick and doors torn out off the hinges. Pigeons dominate the dirty front awning and notices of rodent traps behind the steel gate suggest the existence of an interior ecosystem taken over by rats. An open window in the top floor allows birds to come and go as they please.
According to the Department of Buildings website, the property has collected grievances from the community since 2014 with little action on the part of the city.
Back in June of that year one complaint said: “Vacant store with demolitions started, front doors removed with gate down, rodents and birds reported getting in through gate, residents report foul odors. Can we get the building sealed?”
Another note from a few months later said, “The caller said that the windows to this building are busted out but the gate is down and it smells”.
The official complaints from residents are concentrated within the months of June to September 2014 and each fits the current description of the building, which is still not sealed up. It was not known why no action had been
taken by the city to address the blighted building on Bayside’s main shopping thoroughfare.
The building, constructed in 1942, was bought in January from the estate of the previous owner.
According to the new owner whose company owns several buildings on Bell Boulevard, the demolition is scheduled for August. The dilapidated structure will be replaced by a commercial/residential building, which will be similar to the neighboring buildings on each side of the existing structure, the owner said.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall