This 1840s East Broadway Tenement is Undermined by Excavation for Modular Condos

Posted on: July 30th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Safety is apparently not part of the overall plan at the 201 East Broadway construction site. This job – modular condos – has been riddled with dangers since work began more than two years ago.

It was again shut down by the city three weeks ago for not protecting the adjoining property. According to public records, Department of Buildings sent the BEST Squad (safety enforcement) on July 3 and determined that 205 East Broadway had been undermined. This building dates back to the 1840s and is listed on the Federal and State Historical Register.

At the time of said inspection, the project site was inactive, but dangerous conditions were nevertheless observed. The summons posted (#35424847M) to the plywood noted the following:

  • Inspected interior of 205 and observed severe stress cracks of every floor exposing interior to the elements.
  • Monitoring system in place on a few cracks.
  • Missing monitoring on large stress cracks of interior and exterior of 205.
  • Unable to complete full inspection of 201 East Broadway

There are also two vertical cracks running from the foundation to the roof in the front and rear of 205 East Broadway. Both are related to a separation of the West wall (the lot-line wall) from the street side and backyard walls, allegedly due to digging too deep. (We’re told, though, that the building is structurally stable.)

Department of Buildings citation, July 3, 2019

That citation was short-lived, though, as DOB inspectors returned on July 19 to re-examine the project site, and ultimately decided to rescind the July 3 order. The Deputy Chief inspector of Construction Safety Enforcement is currently reviewing that decision, re-examining all pertinent information to make a final determination on this action. This will likely take awhile.

In the meantime, the site remains idle as local developer Daniel Wise must first address all repairs in the lot line wall before continuing with the superstructure and the modules can be installed.

Moreover, to date, we’re told that Wise and his insurance company have reportedly refused to repair the extensive damage or cover the costs incurred by the co-op.

Wise, who purchased the double-wide properties of 201-203 East Broadway in 2015 for $8.5 million, is angling to construct a seven-story modular housing development. In the short time since groundbreak, destabilization scares, collapsing sidewalks, and falling plywood have plagued neighbors.

As one concerned reader tells us, “this is a community-oriented story about a developer who does not want to fix what he broke. In New York City, if you dig next to someone, you own the damage.”

Excavation, September 2017

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