Everything happens for a reason. People often use that expression, and it certainly is true for the chain of events leading up to the newly re-launched and reenergized Oakwood Heights Homeowners’ Association.
Our story starts a long time ago with Millicent and Louis Friedman. Both Mr. and Mrs. Friedman were born and bred in Mount Vernon. Mr. Friedman was a prominent local attorney and Mrs. Friedman a schoolteacher. They purchased a house on Sycamore Avenue in Oakwood Heights, raised their family there and lived in the home for more than 60 years.
In late 2012, Mrs. Friedman decided to sell her home and listed her property for sale with Rose Carmellino & Candace Evans of Houlihan Lawrence.
At a public open house, a young couple from the Bronx with no intention of buying in Mount Vernon, stopped by to pass some time before going on to the next open house. Not only were they impressed by the size and quality of Mrs. Friedman’s home, they saw the beauty of the neighborhood with its varied stately houses, mature trees, and well-cared for yards. The new President of the Oakwood Heights Homeowners’ Association, Hector Pascal had arrived. And as Hector and his wife, Suheil began to meet their neighbors, they found a high school classmate, Alexandra Estrella, who had also recently purchased in the area.
Together President Pascal and Vice-President Estrella with the help of other like-minded residents are bringing back to life the long dormant Oakwood Heights Homeowners’ Association. They have already had two public meetings for area residents and received very positive feedback. Recent accomplishments include: getting the area on Google Maps (important for when the public searches for news of Mount Vernon beyond Fleetwood), getting 18 broken streetlights replaced, getting timely snow plowing for residents, and launching a new website to highlight the area and raise awareness of Oakwood Heights. Next on the agenda is checking area hydrants and focusing attention on the small gateway commercial strips on Lincoln and Lorraine Avenues. The Association is currently working on revising its mission to encompass wider modern-day concerns but remains committed to making Oakwood Heights a wonderful and safe neighborhood for its homeowners.