Friday, May 14, 2010

To allow demolition on arena block, sidewalk on north side of Dean between Flatbush and Sixth will close for 3 months, beginning Monday (updated)

Yesterday, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) issued a Supplemental Report (embedded below) to the Atlantic Yards Construction Update, indicating that the the northern sidewalk of Dean Street between Flatbush and Sixth Avenues will be closed for three months to facilitate mechanical demolition on the arena block.

Update 4:30 pm Friday: The closing will begin Monday.

It's unclear whether the closing will begin Saturday or Monday, though I'd bet on the latter.

This may be the first announced mechanical demolition process; I couldn't get clarification late yesterday from the ESDC. The ESDC's Construction Updates only go back to 2009; a search on NoLandGrab's construction page doesn't list previous announcements of mechanical demolition.


Update: The ESDC tells me that 624 Pacific was taken down by mechanical means earlier this spring. However, as far as I can tell, that was not indicated in the Construction Update.

Mechanical demolition

Mechanical demolition, which was untenable when there were residents and businesses on the arena block, means more equipment, noise, and dust--surely a burden for those living across the street.

(What equipment exactly? My query is pending. ESDC spokesman Elizabeth Mitchell responds without much detail: "FCRC has confirmed to us that 'mechanical means' is terminology to distinguish from assorted handheld tools.")

It's faster for the developer, though, and, for those not spending too much time at home, it'll be over sooner. For those who were living next door to unplanned mechanical demolition, it was most unpleasant.

The demolition won't start until a construction fence is erected, blocking out views of the former home of Freddy's Bar & Backroom and adjacent housing.

Arena block demolition

While the fence on Dean Street is scheduled to last three months, no one has said the entire arena block could be leveled by then.

Two large buildings, 636 Pacific Street and 24 Sixth Avenue, border Pacific Street; Forest City Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin said in an affidavit that the former would take five months to demolish.

Saturday or Monday? Saturday

When will this all start? The document is confusing. In the initial section, it states that the closure will begin on or about Monday, May 17.

In the Community Notice part of the document, it states that the closure will begin on Saturday, May 15. It also provides handy advice to walk on the south side of the street, not the north side.

I'm waiting for clarification from the ESDC, but if the Community Notice was prepared before the other part of the Supplemental Report, then Saturday would be trumped by Monday.

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

From the update

From the main document:
New Information: Demolition is expected to be done by mechanical means. This approach requires that the construction fence be erected at the curb of the sidewalk to achieve a setback from the site for safety purposes. On or about May 17th, the northern sidewalk of Dean Street between Flatbush and 6th Avenues will be temporarily closed to the public and the fence will start to be erected. The permit for the sidewalk closure is for 90 days and public notice with an alternate pedestrian path is attached.

New Information: Each building will be demolished pursuant to its own abatement and demolition permits.
From the Community Notice page:
Beginning on Saturday, May 15, 2010, the north sidewalk of Dean Street (between Flatbush and Sixth Avenues) will be temporarily closed to accommodate the Atlantic Yards project construction. On-street parking will be unaffected.

The temporary closure is anticipated to be in place for a period of approximately 90 days. Pedestrians can continue to use the south sidewalk on Dean Street. Pedestrian detour signs will be posted during the work.
Supplemental Report to Atlantic Yards Construction Alert May 10, 2010

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