Monday, September 17, 2007

Revisiting Scarano's Carroll Street Building


Architect Robert Scarano's 333 Carroll Street condo conversion has been in limbo for months and months. Construction was halted by the Buildings Department when residents expressed concerns about the safety of the site. The project had raked in 28 complaints until a stop-work-order was actually issued.
And then there is a little problem with the height. Scarano was up to his old tricks when he added two huge floors to this lovely old manufacturing brick building. If I understand it right, he tried to convince the buildings department that if he changed the existing "livable" basement floor into a garage, he had the right to then add an extra floor to the top of the building. Problem with such creative thinking is that the building was never a residential building and therefore, the basement was never livable space. (Got that?)
Scarano is a clever bugger. And he has gotten away with murder for a while. But this time, he seems to have been unable to convince DOB. His building with the cage on top has been sitting there for a long time.
But I have been told that just in the last few days, some workers have been observed on the site. So I checked: the stop-work order is still in effect.
Maybe he has gone to the Office Of Standards And Appeals in order to plead his case? Is he claiming that he has too much invested in the building and that taking the extra story down again would represent a financial hardship. Booohooo!
The Office of S & A has the power to by-pass the Buildings Department. So maybe he can get out of this mess again. I sure hope not.
The Community should be very vigilant. Though the building at 360 Smith, another Scarano building is important, it is the project on Carroll Street that gives the most accurate sense of what this architect is capable of and why Carroll Gardens should not trust him.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that if Scarano (or more appropriately the developer Isaac Fischman) is taking this to the Board of Standards and Appeals notice would have to be given to his surrounding neighbors and this hasn't happened. I would certainly think that if this were the case the deBlasio would have been notified and he would have duly notified his concerned consituents (ha).

Katia said...

Ha, is right. I am just amazed that every thing has been so quiet about this building and that it is impossible to find out where construction stands.
Regarding de Blasio notifying the neighbors in a timely fashion, the neighbors, those affected the most by this building, will probably be the last to know....

Anonymous said...

Which is why myself and others like to remind de Blasio that we aren't going away.
If this does go to the bsa so much the better - it's the developer's dime and hopefully the neighbors can mobilize for any hearing if one is in the future.

Katia said...

Let me know if you hear anything about that building and I will keep my ears open too. I have been monitoring the NYC DOB site, but there is nothing new on there. What about the reports that there have been some workers on the site lately. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is absolutely true. They were there last Saturday and someone who is absolutely impeachable saw them doing something with beams and I saw them doing work on what I believe is the elevator shaft. Another person also saw them working.

Katia said...

Has anyone called 311? Not that it would do anything, but just for the record.
I am amazed. You would think that they would lay low for a while. Unless they already know that they will be allowed to continue building and just can't wait. Hmm!
Interesting

Anonymous said...

Yes, at least three people, myself included, called 311 but by the time dob arrived later in the afternoon the workers were gone or maybe dob didn't look up. The complaints are noted on the dob website.

Katia said...

I'll check it out on the web site.
I heard about the work going on from a friend who happened to walk by. He was not quite sure what he saw, but he said that he saw at leat two or three workers inside.
Simply amazing.
Keep me informed. I'll make sure to write about it.