A decades-long blight in Woodmere may finally be demolished within days, according to the Town of Hempstead.
The new owners of the dilapidated abandoned house at 202 Franklin Place, which borders Long Island Railroad tracks, was granted a permit on Nov. 15 to demolish the structure, a town spokesperson said. The permit is good for only 15 days. This comes after 14 years of court battles between Marvin Davis, who used to own the property, and the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County.
“Legal battles have kept this dangerous, unsightly structure standing for many more years than it should have been,” said Hempstead Town Councilman James Darcy, who represents Woodmere. “It was a danger to pedestrians, commuters, shoppers, railroad passengers, volunteer firefighters, the list just goes on.”
Davis, who owned the property starting in 1966, sued the town and county after some of their employees entered the property in 1996 to remove fire hazards and dangerous facets of the building. Davis lost that battle, but he appealed multiple times. He recently died, leaving control of his estate to his children, who did not pursue the suits.
The property was sold on June 30 to Brooklyn-based 202 Franklin Llc for $190,000, Newsday reported.
“It’s an eyesore,” said Esther Fiber, of Hewlett. She said that a friend of hers who works in real estate avoids driving clients down Franklin, and she feared teens would go in the structure and get hurt.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said about the house’s imminent destruction.
“It’s definitely a hazard and gave the neighborhood a look of neglect,” said Ellen Getreu, of Woodmere.
Legislator Howard Kopel, R-Lawrence, said there’s an obvious safety benefit to the demolition, but said it’s also good for the local economy.
“Considering that Franklin Place is practically the entrance hall to the upscale shops and restaurants in the Woodmere-Hewlett shopping district on Broadway,” he said, “removing this blighted eyesore is an aesthetic upgrade that will boost Woodmere and Hewlett's retail economy, and protect property values for neighborhood homeowners.”