Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Footprint mysteries: two FCR violations, two unpaid $2500 fines

In two buildings located in the Atlantic Yards footprint, one owned and one rented by developer Forest City Ratner (FCR), the Department of Buildings (DoB) has assessed $2500 fines for active violations considered hazardous.

In neither case, at least according to the DoB's web site, has the developer contested the violations, paid the fines, or corrected the violations. (Queries to both the DoB and the FCR have not been returned. Maybe someone else will follow up.)

Click on graphics to enlarge.

A violation on Pacific Street

A violation issued April 29 at 754 Pacific Street cited a failure to maintain the building, including missing guard rails on interior stairs, and risers and tread missing from stairs.

A hearing was scheduled June 25 and the developer apparently didn't show up, since the "hearing status" is "default."

In March 2007, a state judge backed charges by property owner Henry Weinstein that his tenant, developer Shaya Boymelgreen, improperly assigned leases to that building and adjacent parking lot to an affiliate of Forest City Ratner. The case is under appeal.

[Update Aug. 13: Weinstein points out the court ruled that the leases were terminated and no stay was issued, so he contends that Boymelgreen's continued occupation during the appeal is illegal and thus FCR cannot be said to be renting the building.]

The lease assignment allowed the developer and the Empire State Development Corporation to misleadingly portray that Forest City Ratner “controlled” the land, thus suggesting a lesser need for eminent domain.


A violation on Dean Street

The residential building at 473 Dean Street, within the planned arena block, is owned by Forest City Ratner, and its tenants, nearly all with rent-stabilized leases, have been plaintiffs in three lawsuits (one pending) challenging aspects of the project.

A violation issued April 7 concerned the boiler, citing clogged ventilation, missing "clean out door," an improperly sealed pipe, and more.

A hearing was scheduled June 25 and the developer apparently didn't show up, since the "hearing status" is "default."

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