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Locals: Former ices store now an eyesore

Brooklyn Daily
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An abandoned former ices store in Mill Basin is giving some locals chills.

The dilapidated storefront at Avenue U and East 58th Street was previously the home of Italian ices store Dolly’s Ices, but proprietor moved to a new location on Avenue T last year after she found out that the building, which she rented, was condemned.

“It’s a lot safer on Avenue T,” said Dolly Rago.

Now the vacant Avenue U building, located at a boat yard on Mill Basin that was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, is raising concerns for some Mill Basin residents.

Wires dangle from the decrepit building, graffiti tarnishes the once-white exterior, and trash is piling up along the fence nearby. According to some locals, what was once an attraction has become an eyesore, and may even be a danger.

“I never even walk my dog on that side because I’m afraid of something jumping out at me,” said Sally Blackman, who lives in Mill Basin. “I’ll always walk on the other side.”

Reached by phone, the daughter of the building’s owner said there are no plans for the crumbling storefront and claimed that the dangling wires are not her problem.

“That’s Con Edison — that has nothing to do with me,” said Lisa Basso, who lives in Long Island and whose mother owns the building. “They were called.”

A spokesman for Con Edison said the company has confirmed that the frayed wires do not belong to the utility, and are the landlord’s responsibility, but cautioned that any exposed wiring is potentially hazardous and should be treated with extreme caution.

“Never assume that they are de-energized or touch them with your hands or any object,” said Con Edison spokesman Allan Drury.

He said the company is trying to get in touch with the building owner to advise her on safely handling the problem.

Community Board 18 said it plans to contact the Department of Sanitation and the Buildings Department to have them look into the building’s condition.

Rago said that while she enjoyed her time at her old location, she is happy about Dolly’s Ices’ new spot, which she said attracts more customers.

“And we have walking traffic — we never had walking traffic on Avenue U.” said Dolly Rago.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her
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