Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jackhammers welcome at stalled development

Construction of the log-stalled Tulfan Terrace, at 3620 Oxford Ave., is expected to be completed by early next year.
By Adam Wisnieski

Construction on Riverdale’s eyesore of the decade, Tulfan Terrace, may finally be completed by January 2013.

What happens after that? Nobody knows.

Michael Goldberg, one of the owners of Ox-3620 LLC, said he is unsure whether the building’s 30 units will be up for sale or for rent. He cited the condo market’s precarious condition as the reason for his open mind on the subject.

His LLC bought the unfinished tower out of foreclosure in 2010 after cleaning up the financial mess left behind four years earlier by its previous mobbed-up owners All 30 units have three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and include terraces.

Construction on the 20-story building began in 2004, but misdeeds — and the feds — caught up with one of the owners, James Murray. Construction ceased in 2006 when Mr. Murray, also the project’s chief financier, was taken down on fraud and embezzlement charges related to another Riverdale development project — the Cambridge Mews — located at 3536 Cambridge Ave. His partners were left without enough capital to complete Tulfan Terrace and the building fell into foreclosure. Its hollow frame was left untouched for years.

Mr. Murray was charged with embezzling money from benefit funds, scheming to defraud the District Council and evading federal financial reporting requirements. He has since testified against former trustee of the New York City Carpenters Union, Joseph Olivieri, and was allowed to walk away from his own charges in June.

Things are back on track now.

Crews are completing the waterproofing, brickwork and windows on the exterior of the building, which Mr. Goldberg said he expects to be finished soon, followed by interior work that will take the rest of the year.

“The building should be enclosed soon, which is nice. Thank God for the warm weather,” he said.

Previous owners of the building expected to sell the units for up to $1 million in 2008, but the market has been anything but steady in recent years. Mr. Goldberg said his company was not trying to hit a home run, but rather just sell or rent the units quickly, depending on what the market is like a year from now.

In recent years, nearby residents complained about debris flying off the tower during storms, construction fencing constantly falling down and work crews leaving garbage all over the area.

According to the Department of Buildings, a neighbor called 3-1-1 to complain about work continuing after hours in December. But next-door neighbor Naomi Beth Gans said things have improved since the new company took over.

“The front of it used to be a hideous mess, like a pig sty,” she said.

She said she hasn’t been bothered by noise and looks forward to once again using her patio in the summer without having to listen to construction.

When asked if he thinks this will be the final year of construction at Tulfan Terrace, Community Board 8’s Land Use chair Charles Moerdler was hesitant.

“I sincerely hope so. I pray so, but I have unfortunately, in my old age, become a cynic,” he said.



  2. Just tells you what corruption and a-ssholes can do to our funds and a neighborhood my question is when this property was sold to the new owner did our funds receive and of the sale price as some restitution for metal Murray the RATT screwing our funds and it's members Murray's real day of justice will come soon enough someday somewhere you just don't mess with those kind of people and go on to live a peaceful life he will forever lose sleep and be looking over his shoulders where ever he goes even in the light that the judge painted him as an upstanding citizen at his sentencing RAT RAT AND ABUSER OF HIS OWN PEOPLE!


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