By Gina Martinez
An abandoned Fresh Meadows home that drew complaints from neighbors for years has finally been sold at auction for $710,000 to an unidentified buyer, according to the public administrator of Queens County.
According to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the 50-19 175th Place property was sold at the end of February. Avella has been at the frontline of a campaign to get the home sold and cleaned up for two years after neighbors asked for his help.
The owner of the home, Stella Beckman, died in 2001 and since then the conditions of the house have severely deteriorated. Although her son, Franklin, was listed as the administrator of the property, he has been nowhere to be found and no one has up kept the house.
The property was sealed and declared vacant by the city in January 2014 and in the last few years the roof caved in, the house had raccoon infestations, overgrown trees grew on the lot, the driveway was filled with debris and newspapers were piled up in abandoned vehicles.
The public administrator said the house was sold to a buyer who was not identified for $710,000 in February.
Neighbors said they feared the home would become a drug haven and that it was an eyesore in a clean, middle class neighborhood.
Finance Department records classify the home as a one-family dwelling whose tax rate is 19.157 percent. The home’s market value is $774,000 and the assessed value is $36,054.
Avella worked with various city agencies to get the property cleaned and late last year the public administrator was able to have the property auctioned. The house was auctioned in December and sold in late February.
“I am extremely happy to be able to tell the community today that as a result of the relentless efforts of my office and the incredible help of the public administrator that this property is no longer going to haunt the community,” Avella said. “Being able to get this house sold will certainly go a long way in returning a better quality of life to the neighbors who had to live with this hazardous property on their block. I hope that this sale can also set a precedent for the control and auction of the many other zombie properties that haunt communities across the city.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart