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File photo/QNS
The old factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. that is being considered as a school or a homeless shelter site.

The city Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) has issued a stop work order at the controversial Glendale factory that may become a homeless shelter due to improper asbestos removal.

The stop work order was posted on the fence outside of the site at 78-16 Cooper Ave. on Aug. 24 after the DEP performed an inspection of the building. According to the notice, asbestos work being done at the property was found to be in violation of the New York City Air Pollution Control Code and poses a threat to human safety.

A spokesperson for the DEP confirmed to QNS on Aug. 27 that the stop work order was issued “so that asbestos testing can be done on the roof before antennas are drilled into it.” The order further states that work cannot continue until a written scope of work and an amended asbestos assessment report are received and approved by DEP.

Naturally, when workers showed up to the site on Monday after word of the stop work order spread, Glendale residents expressed their alarm on Facebook; several went to the site personally to investigate. A spokesperson for Councilman Robert Holden confirmed that his office received many calls about the workers at the site and the councilman even took a trip there himself.

Holden’s office contacted the DEP, which then sent an inspector to the building to ensure that no work was being performed in the affected areas. The councilman’s office clarified that the stop work order applies to the first floor and roof as noted on the document itself, but since the order was not issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB), other work related to the building permit can still continue.

Yet the DOB permits also changed on the same day the DEP issued the stop work order. As of Aug. 24, online records show the work permits for the site have been updated to include details about the planned occupancy of the building.

According to the permit, the second and third floors of the building will have 100 beds for a “transient lodging house with sleeping accommodations.”

While the Department of Homeless Services has maintained that it has not received an official proposal for a homeless shelter at the site yet, the agency has not yet returned a request for comment.

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