Is this the end of the Bushwick Trailer Park?
Like the defeated cowboy who rustles his corral departing for greener pastures, the trailers inside a former nut factory warehouse have left their once and temporary Williamsburg home.
On February 12, after responding to several complaints, Fire Department and Department of Buildings (DOB) officials visited 304 Meserole Street, despite the name that the trailer park has adopted, to inspect the scene. They found that the building was being used for residential purposes, specifically on the first floor, which contained eight recreational vehicles, and eight lofts each on the second and third floors. After examining the RVs, which were running their engines indoors, the FDNY determined that the area was unsafe.
“We went to location with DOB to check it out and found unsafe conditions,” said a FDNY spokesperson. “It was an inspection of the location to see if it was safe.”
DOB inspectors issued a partial vacate order for the site after noting three significant violations: work without a permit, occupying the building contrary to the certificate of occupancy, and illegal use of a manufacturing district. Earlier reports that the FDNY detected a gas leak and that NYPD officials assisted with the inspection were incorrect.
“Inspectors determined that work to install wastewater and gas lines were done without the proper permits and the first floor of the building was vacated,” said a DOB spokesperson.
The loft building, which public records indicate has been owned by Ethel and Louis Oberlander since 2002, has been found with 14 complaints, 26 DOB violations and 27 Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations, including one open DOB and four open ECB “work without a permit” violations.
The certificate of occupancy for the building, dated in 1977, notes that it is permissible for use a factory only. Calls made to the Oberlander residence were not returned by press time.