Volume 73, Number 7 | June 16 - 22, 2004

Owner plans to develop lot where woman’s body was left

By Deborah Lynn Blumberg

Villager photo by Clayton Patterson
A reward sign seeking information in the murder of Myrna Gonzalez, posted at the E. 13th St. lot where her body was found on June 6.
Owners of an empty East Village lot where police recently found a trunk stuffed with the body of a homeless woman say they have plans to develop the property, which has sat unoccupied for the past 20 years.

The owners of the lot between 13th St. and 14th St. just east of Third Ave., Builtgross Ltd., plan to build a rental, residential building on the property within the next year, according to George Arzt, spokesperson for the family that owns Builtgross, the Milsteins, and president of George Arzt Communications.

The Jefferson Theater once occupied the space years ago, and the building’s shell was demolished in late 1999. Over the years, neighborhood residents have complained that the vacant, overgrown property encourages the accumulation of trash. The Milsteins have organized regular cleaning efforts to keep the lot free from clutter, but residents in one neighborhood building continue to drop trash in the space, Arzt said.

Until now market conditions have left the lot empty, but now the Milsteins are ready to develop the 23,000-sq.-ft. site, said Arzt. “I think that the market is right and there will hopefully be an agreement to go ahead and build the rental,” he said.

Police are still investigating the death of the homeless woman, Myrna Gonzalez, and asked anyone with information about her to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

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