The neglected lot at the corner of Smith and Douglass Streets continues to languish months after owners publicly stated it would be sold to a bank. Fed up neighbors are now wondering if that story was simply a ruse to deflect further 311 calls.
The 5,000-square-foot site at 232-240 Smith St. is currently overrun with plants and occasional vermin. Fenced in by unstable plywood that teeters illegally on the sidewalk and often collapses, the lot has long raised the ire of locals as well as the Department of Buildings—it has racked up more than $150,000 worth of unpaid fines since 2008, when a stop work order was filed for unsafe construction conditions.
Owners Claire Palermo Barbuto and Vincent Barbuto of Son Claire Realty LLC told DNAInfo in June 2012 that they planned to sell the property to a bank. Since that time, nothing appears to have changed and Patch was unable to reach either for comment.
Assuming the alleged bank deal fell through, what would be the best thing to happen to that wasted space? Is another bank really needed on that block or, as one reader recently suggested via e-mail, would it be better dedicated to a "really great furniture store"?
What would you do with the space? Tell us in the comments below.