Settlement will clean up Buffalo plaza

Bryan Cohen Nov. 22, 2011, 1:12pm


BUFFALO, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that the Brooklyn-based owners of Buffalo's Central Park Plaza agreed to a settlement to clean up the property.

Central Park Plaza, a 29-acre site at 129 Holden Street owned by Samuel Kurz and Central Park Plaza LLC, has turned from a thriving property with numerous commercial tenants into a haven for criminals engaged in dog fighting, drug dealing and other crimes, Schneiderman alleged.

Five schools are located near Central Park Plaza, which is located in Buffalo's Masten District and is surrounded by residences and apartments. The area is heavily trafficked by neighborhood adults and children.

"For years, residents living near Central Park Plaza have had to live in fear of this eyesore and dangerous public nuisance located in the heart of their community," Schneiderman said. "As a result of this settlement, the dark days will be over soon. This neglect has threatened the health, welfare and safety of its residents and my office is committed to cracking down on absentee landlords who devastate our neighborhoods."

Central Park Plaza is unlit at night, which puts neighborhood residents at risk, Schneiderman alleged. Additionally, the unlit plaza's parking lot is filled with potholes and other obstructions, placing residents at more risk. The property also lacks security, allowing criminals to break into and vandalize buildings at the plaza.

Under terms of the agreement, Central Park Plaza LLC will pay for and clean up the property. Central Park Plaza is required to light and patrol the park at night, repair and secure all broken windows and holes in exterior walls and doors, remove all trash and debris, cut and remove overgrown weeds and grass, and sell the park as soon as practicable. Central Park Plaza is also barred from owning property in Buffalo.

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