Wall Hides Brownfield Clean-up Near Newkirk Plaza Subway



Unpermitted Wall Hides Brownfield Clean-up Near Newkirk Plaza Subway

Wall Could Collapse on Subway Tracks

Despite Stop Work Order “Trumpian” Wall Still Stands

Oil drums have been seen removed from known Brownfield location

Former Owner was Arrested for Improperly Discarding Medical Waste

Community demands Proper Remediation and Creation of a Public Park and Green Space



Repeated complaints to the NYC Department of Buildings finally led to a stop work order at a contaminated brownfield site at the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Marlborough Road where a cracking wall now endangers adjacent subway activity.


An impenetrable metal “Trumpian” wall went up over the course of days without the required permits at the abandoned former gas station.  Local residents repeatedly complained while the work was going on but no action was taken until the dangerous wall went up and demolition of the former gas station proceeded.  Local residents complained about petroleum tanks being removed and a crane or winch visible over the fence revealed some of the methods for the subterfugeous removal.

The current owner 601 Marlborough LLC bought the site some years ago and has let the property sit derelict for years.  A Sol Menn is listed on one DOB permit and a Ted Mann is identified signing a deed.

Previously the site of the former Exxon gas station was owned by Marvin Numeroff.

It is a known Brownfield according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation it is known as Site No.: 2-247006.

Search NYSDEC Bulk Storage Database here.

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According to DEC records there were at one time 12 known underground fuel tanks.  Some of the tanks have been on the site since 1991, all have been out of commission for a decade or more and none of them have or had External Pipe Protection of Piping Leak Detection.
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The former owner filed with the NYC DOB to “Propose” to remove 11 tanks and install 2 new ones.
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The former owner applied for permits to the NYC DOB to remove only two of the tanks and it is unclear if or how that work was completed.

Although representations made to the NYCDOB indicated removing 11 and adding two, the NYSDEC only has records of 12 so it is far from certain what if any work was done.

“The city could not even stop them from putting up a wall without permits and starting demolition and moving gas tanks this month how are we to trust that they inspected and verified whatever supposed clean-up was done on the tanks years ago?” said local resident Jean Crandish.

Adding to the confusion is the use of multiple addresses for the same property, 1500 Newkirk, 1502 Newkirk, 601 Marlborough.
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The ownership has not been updated according to the NYSDEC site although a Change of Ownership is required.

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The site remains on NYSDEC as owned by UDL Gas Company, the former head of that is the now deceased millionaire Marvin Numeroff.  Since 2008 it has been owned by 601 Marlborough Road LLC.

He was the head of UDL Inc a diagnostic laboratory in Brooklyn and was arrested in 1988 and charged with illegally disposing of medical waste, including two blood vials containing the Hepatitis B virus. 

The waste - including an unspecified number of syringes, 60 loose needles, 25 urine samples, 15 blood vials, a scalpel blade, five petri dishes, a sperm sample and a bag marked ''biohazardous material'' - was placed in black plastic garbage bags and was deposited in a trash bin outside the company's office just one block away from the Brownfield.
Although he later was described as a “mover and a shaker” and paid $7 million for a Greenwich Village penthouse in 2004, he or his estate do not seem to have dedicated money or resources to remediating the toxic corner lot.
“He was arrested and convicted of illegally dumping medical waste but he was never held accountable for leaving a contaminated site in our community.” said local resident Jean Crandish.
Since June of 2018 there have been five complaints that finally led to the stop work order. 

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But even after the city finally took action work behind the Trumpian wall seems to have continued.  The metal wall has no openings or cracks in an apparent effort to hide what they are doing there.

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Emergency work has been ordered due to the prevalence of cracks and “removal of roof joists” along the wall along the subway side where the B, Q and F trains run. 

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 This was precisely the unpermitted work that the neighborhood complained about back in June.

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The community demands the wall come down, the site be inspected a proper remediation plan be put in place and paid for by the current and past owner and the site be converted into a public green space.

“It is unconscionable to let a potential brownfield fester, it is even worse to allow unpermitted work and demolition next to a subway track.”