Syracuse, N.Y. — The owners of the 365-unit Skyline complex are being ordered to add security cameras to stairwells, hire an additional security guard and install an alarm system as part of a nuisance abatement order announced by Mayor Ben Walsh’s office today.
The Skyline complex at 753 James St. is where 93-year-old Connie Tuori was found dead March 17 from a brutal murder. Tenants have long complained about lax security and poor conditions at the building, which is owned by local football legend Tim Green and operated by his son, Troy.
Following Tuori’s death, the mayor’s office forced the owners into nuisance abatement, which gave the city the power to require improvements at the complex under threat of fines or criminal charges.
On May 10, several dozen tenants arrived at City Hall to describe the challenges of daily life at the complex to a hearing officer. Common complaints related to filth in common areas, trespassers entering the building without issue and constant fear of crime and harassment.
The owners made some changes as required by the city, including hiring a 24/7 security company, fixing the elevators and ensuring the stairwells were clean during recent city inspections.
Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner reviewed a recommendation by the hearing officer and decided to require additional changes to the building’s operation.
Some of the requirements include:
Adding security cameras to the stairwells and at each side of the hallways, which the owners had put off previously, partially due to cost.
Requiring the hiring of an additional security guard. The owners will now be forced to hire three security guards at all hours: one at a desk, one monitoring a back door and another to rove inside and outside the building during his or her shift. All guards must be licensed, as well.
The installation of an alarm system and secure locks at all the building entrances, including an alarm that sounds when a door is propped open.
In addition to those orders, the Skyline owners must also hold quarterly meetings to update the city and tenants on improvements to security.
The order is also in effect for a year, which is the maximum the city sought. It’s unclear from the order what happens after a year passes.
The Greens will also have to pay $1,000 in fines, the maximum allowable.
The order is just the latest consequence the Greens have faced due to problems at the Skyline. Yesterday, Legal Services of CNY filed a class-action lawsuit against the owners due to safety concerns there. Also, the owners lost at least $50,000 in rent over about six weeks when Syracuse Housing Authority and Onondaga County officials temporarily withheld payment following Tuori’s death.
Attorneys for Green National have begun evicting problem tenants from the building, legal actions that some advocates say are a long time coming. Last week, a tenant from apartment 1201, which is near Tuori’s apartment, was ordered to leave in seven days. More eviction actions are expected this week.