Hollis leaders try to gain control of dilapidated buildings from absentee landlord

April 19, 2012 09:00AM

Hollis community leaders who have tried for years to buy a dilapidated row of buildings from an absentee landlord have turned to plan b. According to the New York Daily News, the Hollis Local Development Corp. is organizing a protest Saturday against landlord Rita Stark.The group is upset over a two-block stretch of buildings along Hollis Avenue between 202nd and 204th streets in Queens.The buildings have been empty for at least 16 years, and have become havens for drug dealers, other criminals, insects and mice. They sit adjacent to a middle school playground.

The properties have become such a source of blight for the community that local leaders have made efforts to purchase them from Stark, but her spokesperson said the group didn’t have enough money. Leaders say they haven’t even had the opportunity to make an offer.

Stark said she plans to develop some of the buildings to house veterans and victims of domestic violence, but the community group is skeptical because of her spotty history.

Hollis residents hope the protest will bring Stark to the bargaining table, so that they can take back the buildings and help facilitate development that will help improve the neighborhood. [NYDN]