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.