2003-12-12 / Front Page

Owners Of Belle Harbor Blight May Finally Sell

Owners Of Belle Harbor Blight May Finally Sell


The back of the vacant, burned-out house at 130-04 Cronston Avenue.The back of the vacant, burned-out house at 130-04 Cronston Avenue.

One of the owners of a vacant Belle Harbor home, which recently burned in a fire that injured a firefighter, said the property would be put up for sale immediately.

"We do want to dispose of it very expeditiously," she said. "We are all in accord….this is the time for us to let go."

The brick home, which stands on the northwest corner of Cronston Avenue and Beach 130 Street, is a well-known blight in a community where property values are soaring.

A woman whose name appears along with four others on the deed for the property spoke to The Wave, but asked not to be identified. "It reflects negatively on our family," she said admitting that it has been years since she last visited her childhood home. "Maybe we didn’t do the right thing by the neighborhood," she said about allowing the house to slip into a state of total disrepair.


Two junk cars sit in the driveway with broken windshields and missing windows.Two junk cars sit in the driveway with broken windshields and missing windows.

Charred furniture was piled on the front stoop days after the fire. A snow-covered door, ripped off its hinges, sat on the front lawn along with glass bottles and old bicycles. Two old and unregistered Ford cars, with broken windshields and rolled down windows were parked in front of a garage that is cemented shut. New plywood was installed in the windows and doorways – sealing off the property.

Barbara Morris, of West End Realty, said that, depending on its condition the corner house could have sold for more than $700,000 before the fire. It could now be in the high $300,000 to low $400,000 range, Morris said adding that representatives from her office contacted the owners, who were not looking to sell, in the past.

Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska called the house "a great mystery of Belle Harbor," because it has been empty and rotting for years, but could be worth so much cash.

Democratic District Leader Lew Simon said the property has become a dangerous hangout for kids, and that the two cars in the driveway are an eyesore. Simon said he contacted the owners with complaints – but had no success.


Burned and broken furniture and other debris were piled outside the home by firefighters.Burned and broken furniture and other debris were piled outside the home by firefighters.

Meanwhile, the Fire Department said this week that the fire, which is still under investigation, was caused by human activity in the home.

The Department of Buildings also classified the house unsafe this week. Through the years the DOB has answered eight complaints against the property, and issued a violation for the unregistered Fords.


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