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Mr. Guttman, tear down this fence!

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Greenpoint residents have a message for the shadowy owner of a waterfront lot — tear down this fence!

The chain-link fence bars traffic or pedestrians from the western end of Noble Street, which offers wonderful views of Manhattan and access to the waterfront.

It is owned by firebrand developer Joshua Guttman, who owns the former Greenpoint Terminal Market building and several other sites nearby.

The warehouse building was the site of a massive fire four years ago, and some believe that lax security led to the arson.

Much of the building’s burned-out frame remains, but Guttman has rented several nearby lots to industrial businesses and installed the fence at West Street, which is intermittently shut.

He did not respond to a call asking for comment, but community leaders had plenty to say.

“This illegal fence has cut Greenpoint off from its waterfront for three decades, despite the efforts of community members to remove the fence and return the street to the public,” Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint) wrote to Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan last week.

Community Board 1 members have joined the letter-writing campaign in hopes of getting the city to break the lock.

“I want the gates opened and removed and the street to be treated like a public street with street cleaning,” said

Community Board 1 member Dewey Thompson. “It’s a beautiful view. It’s possibly the most spectacular view in Greenpoint.”

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Reader Feedback

You guys must be bored says:
Or you could just, you know, walk up to kent. Or java. You can access the waterfront there. I have a funny picture in my head of a bunch of dumbasses crying behind a fence and have no idea that they could just walk around it. Oh wait, the picture is right there.
Jan. 18, 2011, 10:49 am
mary from park slope says:
make text larger
Jan. 18, 2011, 11:15 am
anywho says:
Not to defend the owner, but the author of the article fails to mention exactly how the fence is illegal?
Jan. 18, 2011, 1:06 pm
jamie from Greenpoint says:
Someone should just grab a bolt cutter.

Mary - if you are using firefox just hit command and the text will get larger.
Jan. 18, 2011, 1:08 pm
jamie from Greenpoint says:
Mary -

command - plus

or ctrl - plus
Jan. 18, 2011, 1:08 pm
Neighbor says:
This guy has made a mockery of the Department of Buildings and Environmental Control Board for decades. He operates with complete impunity.

Just take a look at his open and active violations on this property--just one of dozens he owns.

http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=3&houseno=1&street=noble street&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E

Why is this guy not bending over backwards to make sure all of his properties are compliant?

Neighbors can recall the tangible impact of his negligence: the largest fire NYC has seen since 9/11, which sent smoke and ash throughout the community--not to mention the loss of landmark properties.

Of course, all the blame for that was pinned on a hapless, immigrant homeless man. And four years later, these buildings still pose a hazard to the community (falling debris for your kids playground) and an obstacle to our (not his) waterfront access.
Jan. 18, 2011, 3:41 pm
joe says:
why is it illegal? blocking a public street? if so cut the lock and open it up. It's illegal so you're not breaking the law, you're fighting a crime!
Jan. 21, 2011, 3:35 pm
KOW says:
Turns out JSK all she did was pass the buck by writing another letter to another commissioner. Thanks meanwhile cyclists are getting mowed down all over the city because of her ill-conceived bike plans.
Feb. 8, 2011, 5:31 pm

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