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Residents Forced to Vacate Williamsburg Building Once Owned By Slain Landlord

Tenants at a building once owned by a landlord was found dead on Long Island last year are being forced out this weekend because the five-story luxury building was deemed structurally unsound.

All 20 units at the building at 120 S. Fourth St. in Brooklyn's tony Williamsburg neighborhood were vacated by the city Department of Buildings on Tuesday because substandard steel columns trusses, beams and welds had left the structure unsafe. 

The decision, and the quick closure just before Thanksgiving, has some tenants scratching their heads. 

"How the heck hs this building been rented out for three years, and all the sudden it's deemed unsafe?" said tenant Victor Bill.

Other tenants, which include businesses, say they're frustrated by the announcement.

""It's Thanksgiving - we are pre-booked for two weeks," said salon owner Maria Barca."And they said, 'Sorry, close down.'"

The building was owned by Menachem Stark, the landlord who was found dead in a garbage bin in Great Neck in early 2014. A construction worker was arrested on murder charges a few months later. 

Construction on the building, which sits on the corner of South Fourth Street and Bedford Avenue, began in 2006, the New York Post reports. The building was sold in 2013, before it was completed, as part of bankruptcy proceedings. 

One former resident told the Post the building looks nice on the outside, but that it was "held together with paper clips and gum."

The Red Cross has offered temporary assistance to residents. 

NBC 4 New York reached out to the Department of Buildings about the timing of the closure. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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