NEW YORK – The American dream of home ownership came true for Greek immigrant Panagiotis Treskas and his family, but after the home was structurally damaged following a water main break in Queens, years of struggle ensued for the family as they attempted to rebuild.
The National Herald reported the story twelve years ago and the construction has not yet been completed. Mr. Treskas passed away in July 2013, but his widow, Omorfoula, continues to struggle after unscrupulous contractors took advantage of the situation, the Treskas’ daughter, Maria, told TNH. She spoke about the current state of the construction.
“The house is located at 83-48 159th Street in Jamaica, Queens, walking distance from the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. My mother has been taken advantage of by Paul Ouloupis of Style and Care Inc. at 40 Astoria Blvd,” she said, adding that her mother “gave Mr. Ouloupis $150,000 and he did not complete his job. She contacted him several times about her money but he told her that he had spent it.”
Ms. Treskas continued, “Now my mother has hired contractor Spiros Paliuras as of last year and has given him $184,000 and he is giving her the run around as well. He and the architect Mr. John Stacom, Jr. and engineer Mr. Herman Silzerberg want my mother to sign a new contract and pay more money to refile the architectural plans originally created. The Building Department has not said that the original plans were not valid it just said that our contractor did not follow the original plans and has received a full stop order violation. Meaning the way he has demolished the house did not follow the original plans and now all the work that he originally did is damaged due to the bad weather. The wood that he has put in for the foundation has rotted due to the snow and rain and that it was his responsibility to cover the job site which he never did.”
“When the violation was given, Spiros Paliuras gave my deceased father’s name and my mother had to go to court for these violations on April 10th. They should never have been in my father’s name since Paliuris is the one that did not follow the architect’s plans,” she said.
The construction site of the Treskas house. Photo: Courtesy of Maria Treskas
“We are now searching for a construction attorney to take both parties to court. It will be judged under the Supreme Court of Queens due to the large amount of money under Fraud & Deceptive Trade Practices regarding construction,” Treskas told TNH.
“My mother is not going to pay out any more money. She has dished out almost $350,000 and she has gone to the Emergency Room twice for stress related problems due to this matter. She is still homeless after having worked for 22 years with my father selling hot dogs on Jamaica Avenue. The house was originally damaged due to a water main break on January 21, 2001 and the other four homeowners [who were affected] have sold their properties. My mother’s house is the only one that has not been rebuilt and sustained the most damage. The City of New York awarded my parents a lump sum in April 2008 to rebuild their house. Due to my father’s health problems, they were in Greece at the time. Since my father passed away in July 2013, my mother has returned to New York to try to rebuild her house and has not been able to.”
The fencing on the construction site. Photo: Courtesy of Maria Treskas
The coverage from the National Herald, July 16, 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Maria Treskas