The abandoned development alongside the Grand Central Parkway, had belonged to Joseph Jimenez and his wife Josette Said. The couple originally set out to build their dream home on the then vacant lot according to the New York Post.
“We thought it was a good idea because the land was being used by vagrants,” said Martha Taylor, a member of the local community board and president of the Jamaica Estates Association.
Said purchased the property in 2001 and began work in 2005. However the project soon stalled and complaints by neighbors began piling up.
“Unfortunately, the city does not have a mechanism to force people to finish building,” said Marie Adam-Ovide, the district manager of Community Board 8.
Today the structure is covered in graffiti and plywood forms. Jimenez and Said have not paid some $2,900 in fines to the city.
“Something obviously went wrong in his [Said’s] personal life,” Emilio Susa, a Long Island architect who took over the project 11 years ago, said. [NYP] –Christopher Cameron