Residents Share "Utterly Deplorable" Conditions of Skyline Apartments at City Meeting
Gang fights, drug deals, and assaults are just a few of the multiple stories residents shared Monday about living in the Skyline Apartments on the North Side of Syracuse. The city hosted a nuisance abatement hearing as part of the legal process to require safety and security improvements at the 365-unit complex.
Sandy Tuori Bell is the niece of Connie Touri, the 93-year-old woman found killed in her apartment in March. She says conditions at the Skyline Apartments are dangerous and unsanitary.
“Nuisance is the legal term being used today, but that falls short of describing the utterly deplorable conditions at the Skyline. Any actions taken against (building owners) Green National will not bring our aunt back, or lessen the pain associated with her death,” she said. “However, we are also here today to support the tenants’ needs for improved, cleaner, safer conditions at the Skyline so another tragedy doesn’t happen.”
Other residents have seen similarly horrible conditions.
“What I’ve personally dealt with at Skyline is I had a naked man at my door not once, not twice, but three times, and he literally told me that he was going to rape me and there was nothing I could do about it,” Tenant Association President Katrina Weston said. “Skyline must have some of the best drugs in Central New York because these people will fight. Nothing has changed. The same drug dealers are still in the building, the same prostitutes are still in the building, everybody is still there,” she said.
Following Touri’s alleged murder, the Skyline Apartments’ conditions were put under a spotlight. Common Council approved an evening police patrol of the building, and it has become a hot topic between candidates for Mayor.
“I have a five-year-old daughter, I can’t even see my daughter unless I get a hotel room because my children’s mother doesn’t want to have her in the building,” Vincent Parham said.
Mayor Ben Walsh, on top of beginning the nuisance abatement process, has also threatened to withhold publicly-subsidized rent payments. The Mayor has also filed a motion in New York Supreme Court to seek a court order forcing Green National to fix code violations.
“The one thing I ask, is that we all be allowed to live in our apartments at the Skyline in peace and safety. That’s all we ask,” Larry Fuller said.