Astoria residents block developer’s access to construction site

23-25 31st Street
23-25 31st Street

Astoria residents are battling with the developer of a medical facility in their neighborhood, blocking access to their properties for fear that the construction will damage their homes.

Pali Realty told five property owners on 32nd Street that construction crews would need to enter their yards to put the final touches on Pali’s eight-story medical building at 23-25 31st Street. But the residents said that granting access could mean greater damage to their properties, which they claim have already suffered structural damage due to the project.

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“Nobody is going to grant access,” Robert Draghi, whose backyard is adjacent to the medical building site, told DNAinfo. Construction of the building has already caused his home’s foundation to crack and shift, he said.

Pali has now filed papers seeking court permission to enter the properties, a spokesperson for the company told DNAinfo. Access to neighboring properties was necessary for Pali to comply with a May 2012 ruling by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, which asked the developer to make the building’s rear glass wall opaque. [DNAinfo]  – Hiten Samtani