By Bernice Elizabeth Green
Almost as wide as the fissure apparently created by the developer between the rooftop of the offending 392 and the Nathaniel family’s 390 — which is receiving torrents of rain seeping into walls and “melting” the paint and weakening the structural wood laths.
In August when a contractor friend saw the offending developer’s shoddy extension-building work at the 392 property, among other violations, he warned Nathaniel that the situation would get worse. And, as of this week, it has.
As can be seen in these photos taken by Mr. Nathaniel, the situation is deplorable. Nathaniel says his complaints to community organizations and agencies seemed to fall on deaf ears. A call to the Bridge Street Development Corporation made some headway. BSDC’s Shawn Whitehorn facilitated a call to the Buildings Department which resulted in an inspector checking out damage. Mr. Nathaniel was issued a violation … more to place this on the books, than to “victimize” him, he told us.
But that strategic crisis tactic may not be enough. Back in August and September, Mr. Nathaniel, choosing the “do the right thing” option, attempted to work things out with the developer. An amateur photographer, the father of two, who lives in the neat home with his wife, mother and other family members, continued to document the proceedings for himself … and at the advisement of his insurance company.
This week, it appears the developer got a little upset with Mr. Nathaniel’s attempts to defend his home, and his speaking up about the rash of “illegal” building work going on throughout the community. Note the response via text from the developer to Mr. Nathaniel’s request for the developer to stop-work. It’s not your usual pre-Christmas, “peace on earth, goodwill to men” holiday message.
Mr. Nathaniel says it is his hope that The Buildings Department and, officials on the city, state and Federal level will not only take note of what’s going on but do something about it. Hope may not matter in this case as Nathaniel’s images record the damage done to his property.
But it’s still not looking like such a merry Christmas in “Do or Die Bed Stuy” for Mr. Nathaniel and other property owners … who will have to contend with cleaning up the costly mess left behind by brownstone flippers and property bashers. More to come.