The city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections stopped work earlier this month at a Roosevelt Boulevard property that was being refitted as an emergency-care center and office building.
John McKeever, president of the Greater Bustleton Civic League, said last week that L&I Commissioner Fran Burns had told him work on the site at Grant Avenue and the Boulevard had been stopped on March 2. Candy-striped stop-work orders are visible, though not readable, on windows of the fenced-in property.
The reasons? McKeever said Burns told him that L&I stopped the work at 9432 Roosevelt Blvd. because its sprinkler system had been disconnected and the electrical work was being done without permits. McKeever also said L&I inspectors had been denied access to the property and that construction debris had created a nuisance and safety hazard.
Construction can resume when the building is inspected, debris is cleared, proper permits are issued and contractors are properly licensed, McKeever was told.
Last week, the property was surrounded by rented fencing, and no activity was apparent.
The building has been unoccupied for years, but periodically has been the focus of neighborhood attention. In 2009, a proposal to use the property for a drug program drew so much opposition from residents and elected officials that it was dropped.
Last year, members supported putting an adult day-care facility in the building, but after the city Zoning Board of Adjustment granted the necessary variances, the property was not sold to the company that was going to operate the day-care center. Instead, it was sold to Merck Real Estate LLC of Bloomsburg, Pa., which has been refitting the building for medical and office use. Directory assistance has no listing for the company in Bloomsburg or in Philadelphia.
In January, City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez said the owner had permits for interior demolition, extension of the second floor, new exterior stucco, framing, sheet rock, painting and flooring as well as a new heating and air-conditioning system. She said the owner had been cited for illegally removing two trees.
Quinones Sanchez asked the L&I commissioner to attend the league’s Jan. 25 meeting, and Burns fielded questions about the property during that session. At that time, she said, the property had been inspected, work was being done properly and all permits were in order. Some residents said they doubted the worthiness of the city’s inspections.
Several other properties will be discussed at the league’s meeting this week.
Members will vote to support or oppose variance applications for:
• Use of a piano at Randi’s Restaurant, 1651 Grant Ave.
• Expansion work at the First Ukrainian Evangelical Church, 9620 Krewstown Road.
• Legalization of a rear-yard shed extension at 896 Pine Hill Ave.
• Erection of a dish antenna on the Evergreen Apartments, 2393 Woodward St.
Members also will consider hiring an attorney. They’ll hear from Rich Simon, the 7th Police District’s community relations officer, as well as legislative candidates Kevin Boyle, Ed Neilson and David Kralle.
The league’s meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28, at the American Heritage Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road. ••EndFragment