Realtor gives up on disputed property

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A real estate broker who had been trying to sell the vacant lot at 3333 Giles Place said on Tuesday that he no longer represents the property, which has been the subject of a decade-long dispute between neighbors and the developer.

Although Marco Lala said the listing has expired, a page on the website for his real estate firm Marcus & Millichap that was live as of Tuesday describes the property as having grandfathered approval for a multi-story, 63-unit apartment building with a “huge parking lot.” The page advertises the property for $2.6 million — down from an original asking price of nearly $3 million.

“It didn’t sell. It happens to brokers every day,” Mr. Lala said in a phone interview.

He said his team was aware of the property’s long and messy history.

“We wish whoever works on that property the best of luck,” he said.

Residents of Giles Place have fought developer GRA V’s plan to build that 63-unit structure for over a decade. They believe the new buyer is not automatically entitled to the property’s “grandfathered” zoning status. GRA V could not be reached for this article.

“It is more accurate to say that the court has permitted him to finish the building that he started on that site in 2004. The site is zoned R4A, and an owner can, at maximum, legally build several two-family homes on it,” Margaret Groarke wrote on behalf of the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association (FIPNA), the local group that represents residents.

“It’s an irony, in addition, that in advertising his building, [the owner] celebrates the very attributes of the block he seeks to destroy: the property is ‘surrounded by private homes on a quiet residential block,’” she continued. “FIPNA intends to continue its 11-year battle to see this site appropriately developed.”

After hearing Marcus & Millichap was no longer trying to sell the property, Ms. Groarke said the neighborhood would welcome any owner — including the current one — who wants to move forward with a project that would serve the needs of the community.

The property has multiple open violations on the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) website, including a an active stop-work order for problems with illegal construction.

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