Monday, April 12, 2021

Reader report: It's 'rats galore' at this long-empty 1st Avenue lot

An EVG reader shared an email with the subject line: "New tenants for 89 1st Ave?"

A bit of a misleading title, but it's rats, rats and rats galore. This "fence" (especially in quotes compared to the former grand one) is an invitation for garbage dumping, and the rat situation in the courtyards behind the building is dire. 

This is just the sidewalk; the lot is a mess. Do readers have suggestions or tips for how to get the lot better secured from dumping and trespassing? Or who to call to come to issue a fine? Or how to get this turned into a community garden for the time being? It's only been what, 40-plus years?!
There are development plans here ... last May,  another set of new building permits were filed with the city for the lot between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. 

According to the DOB, the proposed building is six floors with eight residential units and ground-floor retail. In total, the structure is 8,183 square feet. The project is still awaiting approval.

This is the second time in recent years that plans have been filed for a new building for the address. In 2017, the city never approved plans for a similar-sized structure — eight units, six floors.

As previously reported, Florence Toledano was the owner of this lot. In 2013, public records show that the deed for the property was transferred from the Florence Toledano Living Trust to 89 First Avenue LLC. The DOB permit lists Daniel Toledano as the manager of the property. (We do not know the relationship between Daniel Toledano and Florence Toledano. One reader said Daniel is a nephew of Florence.)

Daniel Toledano is still listed as the property owner and developer of the project. (Toledano is also listed as the owner of the lot that housed the 2Bn2C sculpture garden at 231 E. Second St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. More on that space in another post.)

In December 2017, workers dismantled the sculpture fence that had lined the First Avenue lot for years (since the late 1980s, per one estimate). The fence was created at the former Gas Station (aka Art Gallery Space 2B) on Avenue B and Second Street by Claire Kalemkeris and Johnny Swing in collaboration with Linus Coraggio.

[EVG photo from 2017]

Previously on EV Grieve:
• Will this long-empty lot on 1st Avenue yield to affordable housing?

• Drilling and soil testing commence at the long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.

• Workers remove the sculpture fence and prep lot at 89 1st Ave.


JAMES said...

Always loved the quiet and placidness of that space in this crazy city.

stephen b said...

We called this the Rat Lot as long as I can remember.
Used to walk past it at night and your feet would be dodging the creatures beneath. See the lot coming, swerve out into the street till you're past.
Big project getting rid of these rats, especially for more than a short time.

Anonymous said...

Any relation to Raphael Toledano?

Gojira said...

Yeah, God forbid developers and property owners are held to any kind of standards. What kind of negative signal would that send to the uncrowned rulers of the city?!?

Anonymous said...

The rats are also loving the outdoor dining. They spend nights around and underneath the outdoor dining structures on my block. I assume they are picking up or sniffing for food scraps?

Anonymous said...

What would it take to remediate this situation once and for all? Forget about some planned development that could be years away, if it ever happens; I'm talking about today. Surely someone from Councilmember Rivera's office is reading — what say you? Maybe you could even put it in one of those colorful newsletters you send around!

XTC said...

I thought the City Commissioner of the Rats had an ongoing program to use dry ice to suffocate the rats to death. Is that still in effect? Or is that only for public spaces?

sophocles said...

Maybe the Mayor's Office can drop off some of the Mint-X bags that the city spent $6 million on about five years ago, after the Mayor coincidentally received a 100k donation from the manufacturer?

Anonymous said...

Having lived in NYC for years, I still do not understand why this city just tolerates massive rat infestations in clearly public places. How is there not more budget $ for people to remediate sites like there, which are both unsafe and a major deterrent to tourism & enjoyment of public space?

Anonymous said...

This would be a perfect spot for a community garden. NYC Green Thumb should be contacted and this lot could be cleaned up and made into a garden which this area is sorely lacking.

Anonymous said...

Tell the red-tailed hawks?

Born on 6 Street 1 and 2 Ave 1951 said...

Had my shop do maintenance for restaurants was a major fire all hands 13 hours March 1971 two people died grandmother and grand son fire burned in the walls

Anonymous said...

Rather have some rats then yuppies with goat milk iced coffee