DITMAS PARK – The grim red-brick Park Manor Home For Adults was a house of horrors before the New York State Department of Health finally forced it to close its doors in March of 2017 — a place where disabled adults went hungry and unmedicated, crammed into small and filthy rooms.
Now its owners have leased the space to a new tenant, according to papers filed with the Department of Buildings, who has proposed to build a homeless shelter with 19 rooms just a block from a new elementary and middle school on Coney Island Avenue.
The city needs homeless shelters — but this one raises some red flags. The operator is an anonymous LLC, The Coney Group, with an address in Lakewood, NJ. And the shelter has already been sanctioned by the city: The operators’ plans to reduce the number of rooms from 27 to 18 were disapproved by the Department of Buildings, but that did not stop the company from going ahead with renovations. The city then issued a stop-work order for work without permits — but one neighbor described work continuing despite a full stop order on the property in mid-October.
We reached out to owners for comment and left messages, but did not hear back.
Bklyner exposed the horrors of Park Manor earlier this year after the state Department of Health turned over hundreds of pages of reports in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.
There is another hotel in the works, a little further down at 928 Coney Island Avenue at Webster Avenue, the site of former Jiffy Lube, half a block from P.S. 217. The 67 room Best Western Plus would be the largest hotel around. Owner Nehalkumar Gandhi, operating under 928 Coney Avenue LLC, also owns other hotels in New Jersey and New York, including several other applications in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
There will be 5 parking spaces, and 2 bicycle parking spots, and five trees will be planted. Neighbors have reached out to us worried that this may not turn out to be a hotel after all, as the City has been renting hotels across the borough to house homeless families, including the old Oak Hotel on Avenue H. Gandhi couldn’t be reached for comment, though he does appear to operate other commercial hotels.