BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY December 9, 2018 8
Damaged wall causes Throggs Neck neighbors to clash
The collapsed wall in dispute. Couresty of Leticia Abreu
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BY ALEX MITCHELL
It doesn’t exactly exude the
same drama being experienced at
the U.S. and Mexico border, but
two Throggs Neck properties are
having a dispute over a wall.
A chain link fence atop a 3-foot
cinder block wall separates 1049
and 1053 Huntington Avenue; and
had not been an issue between the
neighbors until a bad storm caused
it to tumble onto 1049 Huntington
Avenue on Wednesday, April 16.
At 1049 resides 95-year-old Josefa
Abreu, who’s called Huntington
Avenue her home since 1969.
Her neighbor’s property at 1053 is
a rental, with absentee landlords
that live in Brooklyn.
In the time since the storm damage,
the neighbors have been clashing
over whose responsibility it is to
foot the bill for to clean up the debris
and make the necessary repairs to
the fence and cinderblock wall.
Josepha’s daughter and trustee
to the property, Leticia Abreu has
been handling the ongoing debacle
for her elderly mother.
She admits that the wall was
fi rst erected when her parents
moved to Throggs Neck in 1969.
However, since that time Leticia
says that the various owners of
1053 have modifi ed the wall.
Thus, she and her mother don’t
believe its their responsiblity to
cover the costly repairs.
“I have dated photos of the original
wall, it’s hardly even a wall,
just a little cinderblock line that
we installed,” Leticia said.
At that time, 1053 Huntington
Avenue was still an undeveloped
lot. Leticia says it was when
the house was built that the cinderblock
wall was modifi ed and
raised to meet the new property’s
When the NYC Department of
Buildings got involved this summer,
they inspected the collapsed
wall two times, when an inspector
found the wall to be “not maintained
in a code-compliant manner
and issued violations.” Those
violations were issued to Leticia
and her mother.
While DOB “does not comment
on disputes or litigation between
property owners,” the agency’s
summons included a $1,250 fi ne to
a nonagenarian who never laid a
fi nger on the modifi ed property divider,
according to Leticia.
Evan Chen along with two colleagues
purchased 1053 Huntington
Avenue in December of 2017.
He explained to the Bronx Times
that he is unfamiliar with the
wall’s history of changes.
“When we purchased the property
there was no mention of a
modifi cation to the wall,” Chen
said. “We were told the wall isn’t
part of the property,” he added.
Meanwhile, Leticia continues
to fi ght the DOB’s fi ne tooth and
nail while trying to obtain accurate
answers on the issues.
“We can’t get a straight answer
on this. Some architects and contractors
say that it belongs to (1053
Huntington Avenue) and others
say that it belongs to us,” Leticia
said. “Yet, I was never given any
valid proof that it’s our wall,” she
Leticia has reached out to Councilman
Mark Gjonaj regarding the
wall while she awaits the results of
a DOB hearing held on Friday, November
While Gjonaj’s offi ce continues
an investigation into the wall dispute,
Letica and Josefa Abreu seek
pro bono legal assistance with the