Five years after facade collapse, this Woodhaven building stands in ruins as an eyesore

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Google Street View

Assemblyman Mike Miller is taking a stab at encouraging the city Department of Buildings (DOB) to address a building that collapsed years ago on Jamaica Avenue, displacing two businesses, including the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corp, and still provides a hazardous blemish to the community.

Miller said the structure at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. collapsed in 2014 and is still without a roof even after scaffolding was erected around the dilapidated structure and has amassed a number of violations with the DOB.

‘This has been a constant eyesore for the community and the owner has been negligent with restorations for far too long. There is scaffolding in front of the building; however the required work has never been completed and to this day there is no roof,” Miller said. “This building has been vacant for years and the owner has not complied with maintaining the building to proper code. I ask that your agency take the essential steps to rectify this hazardous condition.”

But DOB records show problems with the building extend even further back with February 2012 violation regarding work taking place on the roof without a permit and crews using “questionable construction methods to support roof” as well as an April 2013 partial vacate order from FDNY cited “structural defects throughout.”

Photos from Project Woodhaven show the building immediately after the collapse with bricks scatted across the sidewalk and the street and large portion of the rubble having landed on a car parked on the street in front of the address.

Google Street View photos from June 2018 show that work began to restore the roof, but it was never completed. You can see weeds fully grown out of the bricks above the second floor.

The complaints section of the DOB website dates back to 2006, when the first note report the second floor shaking and vibrating with a steel ceiling beam screwed to the roof joists without a permit.

There are a total of 25 complaints on the building from this date forward. The complaints include that the scaffolding lacked lighting and blocked the address of a laundromat. In addition, the permits for the scaffolding had expired.

A 2015 stop work order still exists on the property with civil penalties due.

The DOB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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