"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Monday, October 01, 2018

Local Residents Are Wondering What's Going On At 165 W. 9th Street In Carroll Gardens


165 W. 9th Street property profile.
Screenshot from NYC D.o.B. web site
This past week, Pardon Me For Asking received no less then three emails from concerned Carroll Gardeners who reported that lights were shining bright at 165 West 9th Street at night, and that there seemed to be ongoing construction inside the building. Why is this of significance? First some background:

For years, 165 W. 9th Street near Hamilton Avenue in Carroll Gardens has stood empty.  Built originally as a 7-story, ten-unit condominium building in 2002, it was plagued with problems almost from the start.

The project was designed and self certified by the notorious Robert Scarano of Scarano & Associates Architects. Many may remember him as the darling of Brooklyn developers for his creative floor-area calculations and use of illegal mezzanines to maximize building height, floor area, and lot coverage.

Scarano eventually lost his ability to professionally certify his filings with the Department of Buildings and many of his projects were re-examined by the City agency, including 165 W. 9th Street. As a result, the new building was hit with an astounding number of violations that included faulty wiring, sprinkler installation and electric wiring. It was also clear that the structure was overbuilt and exceeded its allowable Floor Area Ratio.
It did not receive a final Certificate of Occupancy until 2010.

In late 2012, news spread in Carroll Gardens that Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc., a Bronx-based non-profit organization, intended to submit a proposal to the NYC Department of Homeless Services to house 170 single adults at 165 West 9th Street.
The proposal was opposed by the community,  as well as elected officials, who raised questions regarding the suitability of the building, illegal construction, lack of provision of social services, or security.

Ultimately, the New York Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the use of 165 West 9th Street in violation of civil and state codes. At about the same time, then-City Comptroller John Liu released a scathing report on Aguila, Inc..

The shelter was never opened and the building has remained empty.  To this day, there are a number of open violations, civil penalties, a stop work order, and a full vacate order on the property.

This  brings us back to reports that work is currently being performed on the building and that lights are on at night.
A search on NYC's Building's Department web site does not show any newly issued permits. It does, however, show two recent complaints for "ongoing construction without a building' permit."
Both were dismissed by D.o.B., because "conditions reported cannot be verified by field inspector." 

The photos above of the illuminated building at night were sent independently to us by local residents last week. The pictures seem to prove that something IS going on here.

Does anyone have additional information or know of any plans for 165 W. 9th Street?

One of the readers who originally reached out to me has contacted Councilman Brad Lander's office regarding this matter. 
Forwarded from Brad Lander's office:
"Thank you for reaching out to our office with your concerns regarding 165 West 9th Street. Our office has been in touch with DOB about the matter. There is a full Stop Work Order and Vacate Order on the property. DOB hasn’t received any new applications or renewal requests for the expired permits. The building is not slated for any work or use at this time. While the vacate order does not forbid the owner from entering the property or use of the lights the SWO does prohibit any work.

DOB receive a complaint of work contrary to SWO. That complaint is a class A violation and there will be an expedited inspection. I am waiting the results of the inspection and I will be sure to keep you in the loop.

If you have not already and see work being done, please immediately report it to 311 and pass me the confirmation number.

Thank you again for reaching out to our office."


Anonymous said...

They look like they are prepping for painting - scraping etc. Maybe selling the building?

Anonymous said...

Have you contacted Brad Lander's office to see what's up?