The owners of one of the neighborhood's most notorious buildings have met with cops and taken steps to curb suspected drug use and other problems.
That's the word from police officers who discussed progress on the long list of complaints about a corner apartment house at 3116-3122 Washington/87 School streets. For more than two years, police and community groups have worked to improve the property.
As officers reported during an April 1 meeting of the neighborhood's "Problem Properties" watch group, police and resident Michael Reiskind met with property owners Chris and George Stamatos on March 11.
The meeting, convened at the Area E-13 station house, included Sgt. Beth Leary and Officers Carlos Lara and Carlos Martinez. Martinez is the beat cop for Egleston Square.
Previously, at the March Problem Properties meeting, Reiskind had surprised everyone to report that Chris Stamatos had called him to ask for a meeting to talk about the many police reports about his property. That call came after Jamaica Plain News wrote about the building's history of problems.
Here's how Lara and Reiskind described the March 11 meeting.
The main complaints have been people sleeping in the lobbies, people congregating outside Ed's Barbershop (which changed hands in February) and trash outside at the rear of the building. The Stamatos' denied allegations of an illegal rooming house at 87 School St.
They did say they would repair the doors and work with Martinez to broom vagrants out of the lobby area. According to Lara and Reiskind, the Stamatos talked a lot about their desire to make their building more secure and agreed to put up cameras in the two lobbies. They also agreed to put cameras at the back of the four-story apartment house, where suspected drug use and sales take place.
The Stamatos said they have hired a site manager who lives in Egleston Square to maintain the building. Reiskind could not say when this person would begin or if the person lived in the building.
Lara said that the lobby doors are the biggest problem. He said he stops there first thing when he begins his daytime shift and often sees vagrants in the hallways. He said he was glad for the meeting.
"Its good first step," Lara said.
But, as it turns out, seemingly a small one. The News stopped at the building the morning of the April Problem Properties meeting to find the front door of 3116-3122 Washington ajar and the fire control panel box broken open. The door to 87 School St. was also open. The door to the Washington Street side — which is not very sturdy for an apartment house - was still wide open that evening. The night police officer, Roderick Lewis, was inspecting the lobby later that evening when the News was in Egleston Square.
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