Troubled Contractor Rinaldi Group Resumes CitizenM Construction After City’s Work Halt Last Month

Posted on: December 24th, 2015 at 5:13 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

​The CitizenM project site on the Bowery reactivated last week after a city-enforced hiatus the prior month. Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order for the nineteen-story hotel in the beginning of November for unspecified safety issues. The magnitude of the infraction was hinted with verbiage that approvals and permits were revoked.

That didn’t happen, though. Three weeks later the job site is again active. So, what’s going on here? The answer is uptown.

You see, the city suspended reportedly the license of the Rinaldi Group last month after an investigation into the death of a construction worker at the Riu Hotel job site on West 46th Street. Christian Ginesi, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, was killed May 5 when he tried to evacuate a stalled elevator 24 flights up; he plunged to his death. As a result, permits were revoked and work halted at Rinaldi’s seventeen city sites.

For the record, Rinaldi blamed the accident on suicide. Here’s an excerpt from the Daily News:

Since August 2013, Rinaldi has been hit with 55 of the most serious citations, creating conditions that “pose a threat that severely affects life, health, safety, property, and the public interest.”

“Bad actors who think that violations and fines are simply the cost of doing business need to think again,” Chandler said.

Brad Gerstman, an attorney for Rinaldi, said the company will fight the agency’s ruling.

And fight they did, apparently. Somehow the contractor was able to squash the violations amassed and return to work. Indeed, the CitizenM superstructure is really starting to pass the plywood threshold, reaching roughly three stories in the northeast corner of the site. Meanwhile, neighbors tell us that oversight is pretty much nonexistent. Neither before the “revocation,” nor subsequent. Just look at the ECB violations attached to the project, which specify, among other things, an absence of the “safety manager” during construction hours.

This is who’s in charge of delivering an enormous tower to our neighborhood…

This image has been archived or removed.

How generic.

Recent Stories

Protest Violence: LES Small Businesses Vandalized

A fifth night of protests spilled onto lower Orchard Street yesterday, as several businesses were vandalized. The Roasting Plant coffee shop, R&D (formerly Brigitte) on Canal street, and the Alexander Olch boutique, were all hit. Shattered windows and looting. It’s unclear what was taken from each store. With regard to Olch’s store, vandals tagged it […]

Scenes from the Looted Streets of Downtown [PHOTOS]

A weekend of violent protests and looting – fueled by the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis cops – left downtown Manhattan charred and shattered. Businesses in SoHo up to Union Square were some of the hardest hit. Boogie contributor Eddie Panta was eyewitness to the smash-and-grab bedlam. Part I: The Nike Store […]

DIY Banner Hung Above FDR Drive in Tribute to George Floyd

Whenever an event of significance hits the news, neighbors can easily expect a new banner unfurled on the Delancey Street foot bridge over the FDR. Indeed, for the third time in as many months, a new message. “I can’t breathe,” a tribute to George Floyd, for whom these were final words. While being placed in […]

Despite Lockdown, ‘Bel-Fries’ Overcrowded Ludlow Street with a Major Party on Sunday

What lockdown? In Hell Square, it’s almost as if the last few months were in vain. Sunday afternoon saw an overflowing party for the opening Bel-Fries on Ludlow Street. It was seemingly planned for maximum marketing value, despite the COVID-19 lockdown. A “Miami style” event with luxury cars, deejay booth, professional photo rigs, and plenty […]

Aerial Photos Call into Question City’s Decision to Fully Demolish 70 Mulberry Street

On the evening of January 23, as Chinatown residents prepared for the Lunar New Year, a devastating five-alarm fire decimated the former PS23 at 70 Mulberry Street. Nearly five months later, many in the neighborhood continue to question the city’s choice to fully demolish the facility. Especially after the emergence of aerial photos showing the […]