Northeast Times

Bustleton discusses slowed rehab of care center

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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. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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