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More Than An Eyesore, Woman Says Abandoned Belle Harbor Building Made Her Sick

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A dangerous eyesore sitting abandoned is a blight on a Queens neighborhood.

Neighbors said the former nursing home is just being allowed to decay.

Michael and Nancy Palmiero have been living in their Belle Harbor home for 20 years.

"When you look at it, when we moved here I thought I died and went to heaven," Nancy said.

"And we said, this is where we are going to stay, and this is where we're going to last," Michael added.

Now, they don't know how much longer they can last in their brick waterfront home with an abandoned facility on Ocean promenade as their next door neighbor.

"It's an eyesore to the community," Nancy said.

The building used to be the Hotel Del Mar, then eventually it became the Chai Residence For Senior Citizens.

The property was severely damaged in Superstorm Sandy and it's resident shad to be evacuated.

No one has returned, and the damage remains.

"The owners of the Chai Nursing Home didn't do a thing to fix it, clean it up, board it up," Palmiero said.

The owner of the property refused to be interviewed on camera, but told CBS2 that he bought the property 2 years ago and that it is safely secured.

A CBS2 news team found a door wide open for someone to walk right in.

The Palmieros shared pictures they took of people climbing on the roof and fences to get inside, and racoons and opossums who have made the building their home.

According to the Department of Buildings website, the property has dozens fo active violations including one for failing to secure the building walls, making it a hazard to the public.

The DOB said twelve of the violations are safety violations. Mrs. Palmiero who suffers from blood cancer said she feels her health is at risk.

"I believe this building next door is making me terribly sick. I developed all kinds of disease and they said some of thema re caused by mold which I know this building is infested with," she said.

The owner claims he's waiting on building permits to create a new senior assisted living facility.

The Palmieros said they just want the dangerous mess gone.

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