The “Epidemic” of Drug Stores Threatens Eliot Ave.
It appears that Eckerd’s Drugs and Silver Crest Properties are close to a deal for the corner property on 80th Street and Eliot Avenue. The Juniper Park Civic Association has learned that the deal is still being negotiated but the parties seem very close to signing contracts. One has to wonder why Eckerd’s would consider Eliot Avenue since they already have stores nearby on Metropolitan Avenue, Grand Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. Also there are more than enough drug stores throughout our area particularly with the popular Artis Drugs directly across the street.

On one hand Silver Crest factory has been a blight on the community for some time and the owners have done little to improve the property and only painted the building when pressured by the JPCA. Graffiti covered trucks and debris have been regular tenants of the parking. The property has been an eyesore to the community for decades. So few will be sorry to see it go, even though it does have some historic significance as the home to the Schwartz Brothers Dairy in the 1920’s when our community was made up of several farms.

It should come as no surprise that the owners would consider leasing the property to the last thing Middle Village needs, a drug store. Banks and drug stores, the two most profitable and safe business investments, are multiplying at an unbelievable (and alarming) rate in our community and one has to wonder how far the trend will go before they start knocking one another out of business.

We will keep the neighborhood informed about any additional news concerning the property.

Scooter Scourge Still Plagues Us
Illegal motorized scooters continue to cause problems for our neighborhood with dozens still out there. The 104th Precinct has made strides catching these dangerous motorized menaces. In fact 105 have been confiscated so far this year. Also two local businesses selling scooters have been summonsed for misrepresentation by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The JPCA is working with the 104th Precinct to bring the Department of Children Services into the picture when the police catch the young people riding these things. Parents should know better than to allow their children to ride these dangerous gas-powered vehicles that are uninsured, unlicensed, noisy and a danger to the public safety. The JPCA plan calls for the NYC Department of Children’s Services to pay a visit to the parents to investigate how their child bought this illegal vehicle and how they allowed them to ride this on neighborhood streets.

BSA Votes Against the Community…Again
Task Force Calls for Investigation of Matter
On July 20, 2004 the Board of Standards and Appeals shocked civic leaders and approved a variance application by Aldona Fire and Protection Company. Aldona’s application essentially called for quadrupling the FAR (floor area ratio) and increasing the building at 54-14 74th Street from a two story building to a five story structure. Eventually Aldona hopes to expand to 200 employees on the site yet they would offer them only 21 parking spaces. The owner is attempting to combine three of his alarm company locations (in New Jersey, Long Island and Maspeth) into one. The application was overwhelmingly voted down by community Board 5.

In response to the BSA’s approval the Community Task Force of Maspeth & Middle Village is requesting that the Department of Investigation examine the conduct and actions of the BSA. “The applicant met none of the criteria for approval of this variance. We are sick and tired of the BSA undermining the interests of the community and manipulating the system,” said Bob Holden, Juniper Park Civic Association president.