Lombardi about eyesore: The ball is now in owner’s court

Lombardi about eyesore: The ball is now in owner’s court

The graffiti caricature of Mayor Lombardi, above, remains on the “eyesore” building. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Dr. Anthony Farina, owner of the town’s most recognizable eyesore at 1840 Mineral Spring Ave., has until Aug. 2 to submit a demolition plan for the building, according to a July 2 notice from Building Official Ben Nascenzi.

“The next move is his as far as going to court, or whatever,” said Mayor Charles Lombardi this week.

Nascenzi’s order to demolish, addressed to Farina’s business partner and sister Brenda DelSignore, cites a June 29 assessment by Odeh Engineers stating the need for the action. Specifically, “the localized failures of the building roofing system has caused localized deterioration, distortion and/or displacement of the roof sheathing and roof truss component members. ...” The roof is no longer capable of handling design loads, it states, and the roof “will eventually collapse from either gravity, wind or snow loads.”

Structural engineer David Odeh said the failure of the roof trusses bearing on the exterior block walls could eventually cause those walls to collapse. Deteriorated sheathing panels “present a danger to the public,” states the report.

In addition to the safety concerns, Nascenzi said he believes a demolition order is appropriate because the building has been vacant for more than 180 days, and has remained in such a condition that the repairs necessary to make it safe and clean would exceed 50 percent of its fair market value.

The town also received an assessment back this week from Ahlborg Construction as reinforcement for the first evaluation. That report states that the building is “irreparable” due to “severe neglect.” It lists extensive renovations and safety measures needing to be taken.

Farina, who owns both the run-down building in question at 1840 Mineral Spring Ave. and the doctor’s office building next door, has not responded to requests by The Breeze for comment.

The ongoing feud between owners Farina and DelSignore and the town took a colorful turn when Farina commissioned a caricature painting of Lombardi depicted as the king of North Providence, sitting on a toilet. That painting was completed July 1, and immediately started drawing attention. A painter on premises last Friday was using white paint to cover all painted areas except for the caricature. He said he was hired to paint over everything but that centerpiece.

Lombardi said the response to the appearance of the painting has been 100 percent positive toward him, with everyone he comes across saying it reflects poorly on Farina.

“The reception has been off the wall,” he said, adding that he suspects the painter was covering other areas of the building last Friday because Farina was experiencing such a backlash over how the building looked.

The town worked with Farina in 2016 to get a “temporary shoring plan” implemented at the building. The building has deteriorated further in the two years since, but Farina appears resolute in not tearing it down.

The mayor maintains that his push to have the building torn down is all about maintaining the “health and welfare of the neighborhood,” and Farina, as a doctor, should also be all about that goal, he said.

Farina has claimed that the town has obstructed his efforts to redevelop the property. He blames the town for contributing to the poor condition of the property by conducting firefighter training on the premises in 2008.

Comments

For a person to go to the extent of having this graffiti put on his building, I would have to assume that he is nuts.

Dr.Farina has further diplayed his lack of concern for this town. This was petty, unprofessional, immature and classless. He should have demolished or repaired the building, many years ago.