In Pelham Bay, Doyle Calls on Gjonaj to Return Tainted Contributions From Predatory Overdevelopers

Albany Assemblyman Has Taken Thousands from Developers Knocking Down One-Family Homes and Building Multi-Family Monstrosities

Bronx, New York-   John Doyle, Democratic candidate for New York City Council in the 13th District, is calling on his main rival Albany Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj to return donations that are tainted from developers who are knocking down one family homes and replacing them with multi-family apartments.    The practice, known as “Overdevelopment” has been a consistent issue in this neighborhood and a major issue in the 13th District race due to Mr. Gjonaj’s enormous financial backing from the real estate industry which utilizes this practice.  In fact, just this month Gjonaj mega-donor Mark Kocaj put in permits to demolish a two-story home at 3136 Buhre Avenue.  Existing zoning would allow for a large apartment building to replace the structure.


Doyle also pointed out that Mark Gjonaj himself personally profited from overdevelopment.  In 2005, Gjonaj demolished a one-family home in neighboring Morris Park, subdividing the lot and building two three-family homes.   Gjonaj would eventually sell the properties and make over $1 million on the sale of this property, at the expense of the neighborhood.


Specifically, Doyle is asking for Gjonaj to refund the following donations that are damaging Pelham Bay:



The Tinaj Family – Donated $300

Built 3529 Bruckner Boulevard after demolishing a one-family home, replacing it with a 14-unit apartment building.  The monstrous building was extended all the way to the owner’s property line and blocked out windows for the neighboring home, causing a media firestorm.

The Lumaj Family – Donated $1,000

Knocked down three one-family homes and is in process in building two large apartment buildings

Mark Kocaj – Donated $1,000

Currently demolishing 3136 Buhre Avenue.

Mark Gjonaj himself –


Turned 1035 Pierce Avenue from a one-family home into two 3-family homes (6 units).


“Gjonaj cares, so long as it doesn’t affect his bottom line,” explained Doyle.  “At that point, as we’ve seen on City Island with the Don Coqui quality-of-life fiasco, then the community ends up getting the shaft.”


Doyle stressed that these donations affecting Pelham Bay are only a small portion of Gjonaj’s real estate backing that his campaign estimates to be at $231,610.00.   Just last week, a prominent real-estate magazine recently boasted that their industry was “betting” on Gjonaj sending slightly under $100,000 to influence him.


He also explained that due to LLC laws and other searches it becomes very difficult to track every donor and their real estate holdings.   He believes that there are likely many more donors with real estate holdings in both Pelham Bay and throughout the district that his campaign has yet to discover.  Recently Doyle called on Gjonaj to return a contribution from a controversial Throggs Neck developer, and the publication City Limits covered Gjonaj accepting a maximum contribution from a slum landlord he had previously asked the Attorney General to investigate.


“Every resident of our district and indeed the Bronx should be gravely concerned by these financial ties,” said Doyle. “I can’t stress this enough- our zoning laws are on the ballot on September 12th!  Heaven forbid Mr. Gjonaj wins this primary, there may not be much of a community left to save in four or eight years.”


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