Stalled Austin Street Construction Site Becomes Graffiti-Covered Eyesore

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on August 26, 2014 1:11pm 

 The opening of a health care facility on Austin Street has been delayed.
The opening of a health care facility on Austin Street has been delayed.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The site of a planned health care facility on Austin Street has become a graffiti-covered mess after a series of construction delays, including being shut down by the city for unsafe work conditions.

Work began last summer at 71-57 Austin St. and the facility was supposed to open earlier this year. But since then, there have been issues with obtaining permits, as well as city-imposed stop work orders.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Leslie Brown, president of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. “That site is going to be an eyesore for quite a few months."

In July, two stop work orders were issued for hazardous conditions, including for failure to provide an adequate fence and for improper excavation procedures.

The orders have since been partially rescinded, with only emergency work allowed.

The site was hit with eight violations, including for failure to protect people at the site and not notifying the DOB of excavation. All of the violations remained open as of Tuesday.

The planned building is slated to house a walk-in health care center run by ProHealth, a physician group practice with facilities throughout New York and Long Island.

The facility was initially scheduled to open earlier this year on the site of the old Alexandra boutique, Bob Russo, a spokesman for the group, said in October.

But on Monday he said there was no opening date. 

“There have been some permit issues,” he said. “It’s still going to happen, we just don’t know when.”

The owner of the site, 71-53 Austin Street LLC, referred questions to the broker, who did not immediately return phone calls.

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