What a Russian! Carroll Gardeners react to Trump bigwig’s digs

What a Russian! Carroll Gardeners react to Trump bigwig’s digs

It is a red menace!

Someone plastered a poster of a Russian flag — and named names — on the front of a Carroll Gardens brownstone this week, declaring the empty and under-construction home is owned by President Trump’s controversial 2016 campaign manager.

And some neighbors who saw the sign with its Cyrillic-style characters saying the home on Union Street belongs to Paul Manafort — who is being investigated by the Feds for his alleged conversation with Russian intelligence during the campaign — think it is time to say do svidaniya.

“I would like to be as far away from those people as possible, to be honest,” said Nancy Soyer, who lives on Baltic Street.

Locals complained on the blog “Pardon Me for Asking” that the house between Smith and Hoyt streets has been an eyesore with a yard full of construction debris for years.

City records show Manafort bought the three-story brownstone in 2012 and began a $527,900 remodeling job to turn it into a single-family home the following year.

Work on the building stopped about a year and a half ago, according to neighbors, and cinder blocks and steel beams have been sitting in the front yard ever since. A Department of Buildings spokesman said Manafort withdrew his application to work on the home on Jan. 31 and the agency subsequently issued a stop-work order, which is standard practice.

But one neighbor said that nosey locals should stop complaining because the house didn’t look that bad.

“Those people are crazy,” said that person, who asked not to be named out of fear of retribution. “Who cares? People have worse yards.”

By Tuesday the sign had been removed and a crew of workers carried construction materials out of the building. One worker said he was told to return to the brownstone on Friday to clean it out, but wasn’t given a reason.

Manafort told the New York Post that he had hired a new architect and expected construction on the project to be completed by the end of the year.

A woman sitting on the building’s steps on Tuesday who identified herself as an architect waiting for a meeting refused to comment and threatened to call the police on this reporter for questioning workers on the public sidewalk in front of the property.

And the neighbor said she didn’t have much to say about Manafort owning property in her neighborhood since he doesn’t live there, but hoped that someone with a different sort of reputation would move in.

“If Madonna had bought it we’d feel a lot different,” she said. “Beyonce’s sister was living down here for awhile, we thought she was cool. We want Madonna or Solange, instead of Trump’s henchman.”

Manafort did not return two requests for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
The Manafort in question: President Trump’s conotrversial former campaign manager and Brooklyn Heights homeowner Paul Manafort.
Associated Press / Matt Rourke