"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

Thursday, February 06, 2020

And The Fun Continues At Problematic Construction Site On Smith Street At Douglass Street

Construction site at 232-240 Smith Street
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From DoB's web site
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view of the black shed that fell onto site from neighboring property
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Adjacent property at 57 Douglass Street, which was damaged by work on 232-240 Smith Street
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Oops, it happened again! The NYC Department Of Buildings issued yet another violations to the problematic construction site at 232-240 Smith Street near Douglass Street. This latest SWO and Class 1 violation were issued because 'site conditions are 'endangering workers.' Apparently, a large shed tumbled into the big hole in the ground from a property next door.

That brings the number of complaints against this property over the years to 121. There have been over 62 violations issued, as well as 90 ECB violations, of which 10 are still open.

Granted, some of the violations date to before construction started on this site, but the majority were issued while it has been in progress.
This ineptitude has even caused a 'vacate order' for the property next door at 57 Douglass Street when that building was damaged during underpinning work in October 2018.

Here is some background on the 232-240 Smith Street site:
The long saga of this construction site started about 12 years ago with the demolition of several one story buildings that housed a few stores and a then-popular Argentinian restaurant named Sur, which helped spark Smith Street's revival. During a decade, nothing happened on the lot except for violations handed out by the NYC Department Of Buildings for 'failure to maintain construction fence."

Finally, in 2015, Commercial Observer reported that "Madison Realty Capital provided Brooklyn-based Second Development Services with a short-term $9 million loan for the acquisition and development of 232 Smith Street." Louis Greco of SDS told the Observer that he is planning a 15,000-square-foot retail building on the site.

D.o.B. permits were filed by OCV Architects shortly afterwards and by the fall of 2016 work finally began and... stopped. Within weeks, the D.o.B. issued a stop work order for "failure to notify DOB within 24-48 hours of the start of excavation" and for 'failure to safeguard all persons and property."
In addition, the site regularly fills up with water and there have been problems with the sewer lines.

It had been announced to the community that a Crunch Fitness would be the tenant in this new building. A rendering of the building with the Crunch logo has been removed from the construction site recently.

At this point, perhaps we should all be concerned about the site's proximity to the F/G subway line, which runs parallel to the site.
If the construction team is so inept, who is to say that the subway tunnel will not be compromised?
That sure would be a headache for the entire neighborhood...and everyone that uses those two lines in BRooklyn.








9 comments:

Anonymous said...

At what point do local officials deem this harmful to the neighborhood and take action? The sidewalk is blocked, it's a cesspool, a danger, a trash heap, and an eye sore. Surely, after more than a decade, there has to be something more to be done by the DOB and the City than the endless SWOs. This site and the boarded up street level storefronts on Smith between Douglass and Degraw have to be addressed with more than appeasement.

Katia said...

I agree. At what point does the City revoke the permit?

Anonymous said...

What's suppose to go up at the site? Another luxury condo? Smith st need more stores that's affordable to shop at. Those boarded storefronts,should be used for businesses,that folks can afford to spend. Smith st has no supermarket,or bargain stores,and one storefront owner said she closed her business because not a lot of foot traffic.

Anonymous said...

I have resigned to myself that this will be a construction pit until the end of mankind.

Anonymous said...

What has happened to the residents of 57 Douglas. I hate this hole in the ground.

Anonymous said...

From the rendering, a Crunch gym is supposed to be going up at the site - I want that so bad since I live right nearby and would be incredibly convenient. But this site is a mess and it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

$100 says this will look the same 1/1/2021

Anonymous said...

Well you can thank DeBlasio and Bloomberg for the BUILD BUILD BUILD policies that give all developers a green light for anything they want as long as there is a "contribution" made.Affordable Housing is scam to allow zoning variances for any one that asks for one.Oversized buildings with expensive "affordable" apartments with no infrastructure to support it is bad city policy. Crowded schools, crowded subways, closed fire houses...
Stop supporting these self serving politicians.. including Brad Lander who is following the DeBlasio playbook. DOB is just a rubber stamp . Unless someone gets killed they do nothing....

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, this was an open pit for at least a decade before construction even started 12 years ago.
What steps can neighborhood residents take? Who's our Leslie Knope? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_(Parks_and_Recreation)