Is It Finally True?
By John C. McLoughlin
Repairs to the three Dayton-Seaside buildings in Rockaway Park are slated to begin next month, according to Michael Zukerman, principal of Dayton-Seaside Management. Tenants, who have been fighting for the past few years to have the necessary repair work done on the deteriorating buildings, were skeptical of Zukerman’s words.
Approximately five months ago the owners of the Dayton-Seaside buildings, comprised of 1 Beach 105 street, 106-20 Shore Front parkway, and 107-10 Shore Front parkway, announced that they had secured $11 million from Mountain Funding, a loaning source. The money, almost $4 million for each of the three buildings, would be for an entire new exterior, new parapet, new roof, new windows, new boilers, and updated elevators.
In September 1999 the New York City Department of Buildings declared the overall conditions of the three buildings "unsatisfactory," noting the poor conditions of the brick facade, windows and balconies.
The monies designated for repairs for the three buildings was approved in federal court this week, where the Zukerman’s have also been battling the City of New York on back taxes, estimated to be $50 million. The Zukerman’s have continued to pay present taxes, but have disputed the city’s number on the amount of back taxes owed. This unresolved tax dispute led to the Zukerman’s filing bankruptcy in early February. The bankruptcy allowed the Zukerman’s to apply for debtor in possession financing, which permits money to be allocated to repairs before payment of back taxes.
Starting in August, the parapet of all three buildings will be repaired and by November repairs will be completed on the south wall of 107-10 Shore Front parkway. Zukerman called this work "priority spending" and expects full financing to be available by next spring for repairs to the exterior walls of the three buildings.
Tenants of Dayton-Seaside hope that this time the talks of repairs will actually happen. Barbara Buffolino, president of the Surfside Housing Association For Tenants (S.H.A.F.T.) has said that the owners of the buildings have been "neglectful" and "hid behind the tax situation." The owners continue to reject this and claim that the tax lien prevented them from receiving loans to make repairs.
As for Harold Cornell, a tenant of Dayton-Seaside for more than 20-years, he joins his fellow neighbors in skepticism. "I’ll believe it when I see it," said Cornell.