WILKES-BARRE — Kingston has had enough of an abandoned building, and now it’s suing to get some action on what it calls a nuisance property.
A lawsuit was filed in county court Thursday by borough solicitor Harry Mattern against the owners of Target Table, 130 Cuba St.
Mattern writes that the property has been left in a state of disrepair and is causing a public health risk.
According to the suit, the building is cluttered with debris and poses a danger to children who might be able to enter the property. It also poses a fire hazard to nearby homes and may “catastrophically fail,” the filing states.
One big problem for the borough, however, is determining who exactly owns the building.
According to the suit, a corporation called Target Table Industries Inc. is the owner. The company itself was owned by Samuel T. Perrone, but the suit says Perrone died in August 2014.
Since then, no estate has been opened in Luzerne County for Perrone.
The address of the corporation was listed as a home on Riverside Drive in Wilkes-Barre. However, the borough no longer believes this is a valid address for the corporation’s base of operations, as records show it has since been sold to another family.
Without an address to contact the corporation, the borough contacted Perrone’s son, Thomas Perrone.
But the younger Perrone has repeatedly claimed he has no connection to the property, either as an owner or as a shareholder, court papers say.
The process has left the borough stymied, Mattern writes.
“The municipality of Kingston has no adequate remedy at law,” the suit states.
The borough is asking for a court order either directed at Target Table Industries Inc. to tear down the property, or allowing Kingston to seize the property and demolish it. The borough also seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent the corporation from allowing the property to deteriorate further.
‘Tear that thing down’
When a Times Leader reporter visited the site, he saw graffiti covering exterior walls, smashed windows and a tree growing out of one of the building’s lower roofs. A notice posted on one door shows Kingston declared the site unfit for human habitation as of late 2016.
Neighbor Larry Crolick said he was hoping for good news regarding the property.
“I hope you’re telling me you’re bringing a crew to tear that thing down,” he told a reporter.
Crolick said the building has turned into a hangout for children and teens who climb onto its roof and throw rocks to smash the remaining windows.
As if on cue, two young people walking through the alley next to the building broke into the conversation.
“I’m one of the kids who smashed the window,” one of them laughed. “I swear to God!”
Crolick said he’s as fed up with the building as the borough seems to be, adding that he’s taken it upon himself to clean up glass and bar doors to prevent kids from getting in.
Attempts to reach Thomas Perrone for comment Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan