Temporary Hold on Trump Soho After New Accident Doesn’t Appease Foes
The much-maligned Trump Soho can’t seem to get it right. Just two months after a construction worker died after a catastrophic on-site fall, which grounded the condo project for weeks, work was again stopped by the city over the weekend after yet another accident. Glass panels came crashing down the condo-hotel on Saturday, “knocked loose by a chain attached to construction equipment on the 26th floor,” according to the New York Sun. Unsurprisingly, critics of the project are quick to pounce on this recent snafu. “It seems like no matter what happens, [the project] at most just gets a temporary delay. But the city just lets them continue ahead. You’d think in light of the recent fatal accident, the developers and construction company would be extra safe and extra careful,” says Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which is challenging Trump Soho on the grounds that the permits to build it shouldn’t have been issued by the city in the first place. “This project never should have been allowed in the first place, and if they cannot run their construction site safely, it should be shut down.” In response to the incident, Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to tighten construction safety and oversight on developers, but until all construction on Trump Soho stops for good, its vehement opponents are unlikely to be satisfied. — S. Jhoanna Robledo
New accident stops work at Trump SoHo tower as wind wreaks havoc [NYDN]
Earlier: Building Collapse at Trump Soho
Is There a Park Slope in Baghdad?Dumbo: Last night was the first night that passersby could see Adriana Varella’s giant Applied Kinetics projection installation at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. There are no pictures yet, so go tonight and see it yourself. [DumboNYC]
East Village: A funny guerilla-marketing tactic for a Black Lips show has finally made our favorite advertising blogger smile! With black lips! [Copyranter]
Park Slope: After a kind of annoying string of posts on a couple of real-estate blogs about what neighborhoods are the “Park Slope”s of other cities, this blog just gets right down to business: What is the Park Slope of Iraq? [Gowanus Lounge]
Breaking: Construction Workers Return to Trump SohoConstruction workers have returned to Trump Soho, a little over a month after DiFama Concrete worker Yurly Vanschytskyy fell 40 stories to his death off the building, after a wooden mold in which he was tamping down concrete collapsed. According to Newsday, the Department of Buildings is allowing Bovis, the contractor overseeing the project, to work on the first 23 floors, provided Bovis employ a full-time safety manager, train their workers better, and swaddle the upper floors of the building in scaffolding and netting. Donald Trump has never made a statement regarding the accident.
Work resumes on lower floors of Trump SoHo condo after fatal fall [Newsday]
Related: Intel’s coverage of the accident at Trump SoHo
Worker Killed at Trump Soho Was ‘Hardworking,’ ‘Always Smiling’The worker who was killed on Monday in the accident at the Trump Soho was identified by the Times this morning. Yuriy Vanchytskyy was a Ukrainian immigrant who lived in a Greenpoint walk-up, below a bunch of hipsters and above the Pakistani couple who owned the building. By all accounts, he seemed nice: He helped his landlady take out the trash, she said, and a co-worker at DiFama Concrete, the subcontractor at Trump Soho, describes him as a “hard working brother; always smiling.” He had a wife and three children. The Times also found that Vanchytskyy wasn’t the first DiFama employee to be killed on the job: In 2004, a worker fell 60 feet from a crane at the Lumiere, the condo building on 53rd Street, and since then DiFama — whose clients have included William Beaver House and 15 Central Park West — has received seventeen federal violations. Seven of them were related to issues relating to fall protection.
Many Violations for Employer of Worker Who Died In a Fall [NYT]
Earlier: Intel’s coverage of Monday’s accident at Trump Soho
in other news
Disturbing Movement at Trump Soho!So here’s a question: If the folks working on Trump Soho were slapped with a stop-work order after yesterday’s horrific accident, why the hell is the crane still moving? It was slowly rotating back and forth this morning, and we just spent the last ten minutes at our office window watching the machine clearly rotate and even rise a bit. It doesn’t make us feel any better to think that perhaps it’s just the wind causing the movement, because that would suggest one massively unstable crane. A call to the Department of Buildings informs us that the only work that can continue is “remedial work” to make the site safe, but DOB is unclear as to whether the crane is part of that. They’re looking into it; we’ll just be here in the meantime, nervously staring at the thing.
Oh, look: It quite literally stopped while we were writing this item. The power of a phone call?
Update 6:50 PM: The DOB clarifies with a late-breaking statement: “The Stop Work Order does not apply to remedial work required to make the site safe, such as securing loose materials on the upper floors of the building. The crane is being used to conduct the remedial work.” So there you go. Not that it makes the scene any more comfortable to watch.
Earlier: Building Collapse at Trump Soho
in other news
More Gruesome Details From the Trump SohoA little bit more news has come out today about yesterday’s collapse at the Trump Soho. Apparently it was not a bucket swinging into the scaffolding, as we and others reported yesterday, that caused the accident. Rather, a wooden mold in which a worker was tamping down concrete collapsed, and the wet concrete caused the worker to fall 42 stories to his death. Though the name of the worker, who was decapitated, according to the Times, has not been officially released, the Post is still flagrantly identifying him as Yuri. The Daily News points out that the company in charge of the site, Bovis Lend Lease, was also the company whose violations at the Deutsche Bank building led to a fire that killed two firefighters last year, and notes that their projects have “a history of worker injuries and deaths and objects hitting passersby.” Meanwhile, the Times digs up the fact that Joseph Fama, one of the owners of the DiFama Concrete Company of Brooklyn, the subcontractor hired by Bovis, who employed the deceased and the other workers, has been in jail since 2004 for racketeering and extortion, and according to federal authorities is an associate of the Lucchese crime family. And still, no one has heard from the Family Trump.
Construction Worker Dies in 42 Story Fall in SoHo [NYT]
Worker plunges to death at Trump site [NYDN]
Trump Horror [NYP]
it just happened
Trump Soho Victim Had Wife, Kids. Project Was Under Investigation for Code Violations.Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer just released a statement on this afternoon’s accident at 246 Spring Street, the site of the Trump Tower hotel, where a bucket of wet cement crashed into the building’s scaffolding on the 40th floor, killing a worker, a married father from the Ukraine named Yuri, according to the New York Post and injuring several others. Some have noted that the tower had been going up a little too quickly, and from the statement it seems as though that had something to do with today’s events.
The accident at the new hotel at 246 Spring Street is another example of the dangerous conditions created by rushed construction in Manhattan. My office did an initial investigation of violations at the site and discovered that there were two Class A violations issued on October 26, 2007. These violations are considered high risk. However, the construction was allowed to continue unchecked and the Environmental Control Board hearing to review the violations was not scheduled until January 24, 2008. This is unacceptable. The death and injury of construction workers and the compromised safety of emergency responders and surrounding community should not be considered the cost of doing business in Manhattan.
The property’s owner Donald Trump has yet to issue a statement.
ONE DEAD IN TRUMP SOHO BUILDING COLLAPSE [NYP]
it just happened
Breaking: Building Collapse at Trump Soho
According to Curbed and the view from our office window, a major chunk of concrete has fallen from the top of the Trump Soho. One unconfirmed fatality; more as we know it.
UPDATE 2:45: Our photographer on the scene says one fatality is now confirmed; they’re still trying to remove people from the building, which is happening very slowly. Photos of that after the jump. From our view here at the office, we can see the crane moving (scary); Varick has been shut down.
Glass Goes Up on Trump SohoWe couldn’t help but notice today that glass is finally going up on Trump Soho, the controversial hotel-tower that he has been shilling for the past few months. You can see it on the bottom of the picture to the left (it’s blue!). You can bet that Soho and Village protesters will have a lot to say about this. We’re not sure we have an opinion, except that this accelerated progress is only going to mean that Trump will be hanging out in our neighborhood more often. Which is never good.
Earlier: The Donald Celebrates Trump Soho Sales
Trump’s Soho Plan Foiled by Internet?
Will Donald Trump’s quest to build his Spring Street condo-hotel be trumped by his own Website? Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, certainly hopes so. Berman fired off a letter today to Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster and Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden calling attention to what he says is “is further proof that Mr. Trump and his development partners have every intention of violating the law.” The area, zoned for manufacturing, is not generally open to construction of residential buildings, but hotels are allowed. Last month word spread that the city will approve Trump’s project with a provision that will restrict stays there an apparently hotel-like 100 or 150 days. But visitors checking the TrumpSoho.com Website today to find out how they can live downtown Donald style were asked to indicate whether they plan on using the units as a “primary residence,” “secondary residence,” or “investment property.” That section has since been removed (Curbed has a screen shot), but Berman and his crew, whose past successes include downsizing the far West Village to ice out hulking towers there, hope the snafu will make city officials examine the project much more closely. For the record, no permits have been issued yet. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation Letter [pdf]
CurbedWire: Trump Soho’s Delicate Question [Curbed]