Wonder Bread has given way to weeds, and Twinkies to trash, at the shuttered Hostess Thrift Store at Albany Avenue and Farragut Road.
The store — which offered deep discounts on bakery products to customers — closed over a year ago, when its parent company, Interstate Brands Companies (IBC), was forced to shutter some of its outlets as it reorganized after filing for bankruptcy in 2004.
Since closing, the bright yellow building — now owned by JPMorgan Chase, which had provides $200 million in financing to the struggling IBC prior to its bankruptcy filing — has become a magnet for detritus, community activists charge.
At the May meeting of Community Board 17, held at New Life Tabernacle, 4905 Avenue D, board member Yvette Barrow complained about conditions at the corner. Between the dumping and the weeds, “It’s disgraceful looking,” Barrow contended. “It’s an eyesore.” In addition, she noted, “Young would−be gang members are using the entire site. They write gang language on it.
“How long will it be till it’s cleaned up. so people who live in the community might not be ashamed of it?” she went on.
Sherif Fraser, CB 17’s district manager, said that she had been in touch with the owner. “We had him fence the area, but people are now dumping over the fence,” she told Barrow. While it has been cleaned, she added, every couple of months, it needs to be cleaned again, “So we have continued to call,” Fraser stressed.