At the request of Saugerties police chief Joseph Sinagra, village officials have ordered Jason Moskowitz to seal his Dragon Inn, in which a vagrant died several weeks ago.
Village law requires vacant structures such as the Dragon, once home to a popular Chinese restaurant, and former mansion of Saugerties industrialist William Sheffield, be closed to prevent vagrants or squatters from gaining entry.
In 1993 the building was partially gutted by a fire. Since then, squatters and transients have made the deteriorating structure their home.
Village code enforcement officer Eyal Saad said he sent a notice of violation to Brooklyn developer Moskowitz ordering the building be closed until approval for work on the structure is given by the village’s Historic Review Board.
Saad says he’s also hoping that Moskowitz will use this opportunity to pay his property taxes. Saad added that he’s talked to village treasurer Helene King and she’s said that Moskowitz is in arrears.
Village Mayor William Murphy said that he sent an email to Moskowitz “to introduce myself and to see what his plans are. He has hired a fence company to seal off the property and will be talking to [Saad] this week to discuss what he needs to do from a permit perspective.”
Saad said in an interview this week that he wants more than just a fence to close of the property. “People can climb over a fence.”
Former owner Ching Ya Wu had put up a stockade fence around the building but that was torn down.
When he first purchased the property, Moskowitz said he was looking to build a boutique hotel on the site and include part of the mansion, called Clovelea in its heyday, into the structure. There has been no indication that those plans are still active; at the time, Moskowitz admitted he had little funds to actually build the hotel.