Pop-up parties in former Middle Village hardware store raise concerns from elected officials and residents

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Several complaints have been reported to 311 this past weekend about a vacant storefront being used as a location for pop-up parties. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

Several complaints have been reported to 311 this past weekend about a vacant storefront formerly belonging to the Midville Hardware store being used as a location for pop-up parties. 

These parties may violate the legal occupancy of the building, according to the Department of Buildings (DOB) Press Secretary Andrew Rudansky. The building, located at 73-02 Metropolitan Ave., is meant to be used as a store, with apartments on the second floor. 

Rudansky said that the DOB would have to inspect the property during one of these reported parties to determine any potential legal violations. 

“We are working with our fellow city agencies to investigate this issue further,” Rudansky said. “If we find that the property is occupied contrary to the Certificate of Occupancy, we can take enforcement actions against the property owner.”

In New York City, a building must be used as per the legal Certificate of Occupancy, which for this building is a store and two apartment units, according to Rudansky. The DOB could impose financial penalties or issue vacate orders if the building is not being used as listed in the Certificate of Occupancy. 

Councilman Robert Holden said he is working with DOB, the 104th Precinct and State Liquor Authority to put a stop to the pop-up parties. 

“These dangerous gatherings have brought violence into our district, including a recent shooting and they must be stopped immediately,” Holden said. “We are aware of other pop-up party venues in the district, especially on Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, and are working to shut them down, as well. Residential areas are not appropriate locations for these fly-by-night events that intrude upon our quality of life. I will not allow this dangerous, disturbing, illegal activity to continue.”

A spokesperson for the NYPD said that the 104th Precinct has been working to investigate the parties further.

“The commanding officer of the [104th Precinct] is aware of loud parties at the location and is working with his NCO team to conduct directed patrols at the location and address the condition,” the spokesperson said.

Kevin Ryan, a spokesperson for Holden’s office, said that they are looking into whether the landlord has a liquor license. Holden’s office is also trying to determine if the business is checking vaccination cards at the parties, as required for every business in New York City.

“That might be another way to shut them down,” Ryan said. “We would rather work with them, but we’ll see.”