Buildings Department Stops Work on Three NYC Projects

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York—For the second time this year, the New York City Department of Buildings has slapped Trump SoHo’s general contractor, Bovis Lend Lease, with a stop-work order. The latest order is in response to events on Saturday night, when gusts of wind near 50 mph sent a loose chain crashing into the side of the 46-story Trump SoHo tower, cracking windows on three floors and showering the street with glass.The company has been cited for not securing the chain that had been used to hoist windows. Bovis was cited for building code violations at the project in January after a worker fell 42 stories and died. On Jan. 31, the department issued a full stop-work order, citing falling debris, according to city records. The order was rescinded on Feb. 11.“That project has been one disaster after another,” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, was quoted as saying in the Daily News.The cable at the Trump SoHo project was swinging from the 26th floor when it hit the north side of the tower at 246 Spring St., Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said in the newspaper.Bovis officials said in a statement there were “a few broken panes of glass, which were removed as a precautionary measure.”On the same night, about 75 percent of the timber and plywood formwork on the roof of a 15-story condominium building at 469 W. 12th St. in New York collapsed, according to Lindquist.The Buildings Department issued a stop-work order on the project and cited the contractor, Plaza Construction, for “failure to safeguard the public.”Meanwhile, for totally different reasons, the Buildings Department has stopped work at the 19-story building under construction at 200 11th Ave. in New York. The building design includes a first-of-its-kind “sky garage,” which would allow owners to drive into the elevator and be lifted practically to their apartment doors.Since August 2007, the Buildings Department has cited the site 19 serious violations. The latest order marked the second time work had been halted at this site too.In January, a stop-work order was issued after inspectors found an inoperable fire safety standpipe and lack of required safety netting.Fourteen of the 16 condos, designed by high-profile architect Annabelle Selldorf, feature the 300-sq.-ft. elevator garages. They sell for $6 million to $17.5 million.“The pillars forming the exterior walls are misaligned,” Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said after a stop-work order was issued Wednesday. “This could be characterized as a structural deficiency.”Occupancy, originally set for 2008 to early 2009, has been pushed back, according to local brokers.