Saturday, July 26, 2014

At 10 MetroTech, some familiar complaints regarding Forest City construction methods

Maybe neighbors of 10 MetroTech need their own version of Atlantic Yards Watch, say 10 MetroTech Watch.

First, on 7/18/14, Fort Green Focus reported Rockwell Place Residents Concerned By Demolition & Dust At 10 MetroTech:
Continued demolition work at the site called 10 MetroTech Center (alternately 625 Fulton Street) is filling 1 Rockwell Place with potentially harmful dust, says a letter written by building residents to Public Advocate Leticia James.
The letter, which 1 Rockwell resident representatives Sandra Mullin and Laura Tucker say they are also sending to City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, andBorough President Eric Adams, alleges that site developer Forest City Ratner only began using wet methods to mitigate dust from the demolition after complaints were made–and that they believe FCR should pick up the bill for their apartments being cleaned of said dust. As the work includes demolishing an 1800s candy factory, residents are especially worried that the resulting dust could contain lead, asbestos, and other toxic materials. 
...However, FCR Vice President of External Affairs Ashley Cotton says dust containment methods were being used at the site the entire time.
On 7/24/14, the Brooklyn Heights Blog updated the story, with Forest City Ratner Again Focus of Local Residents’ Ire:
Ms. Tucker disputes FCR’s version of the situation.
“In terms of damage, noise and filth, my apartment is covered in a layer of fine grit,” said Tucker, whose apartment is directly across from the demolition site. “If I leave a window open, a paper towel used to wipe my kitchen table will come up black. Curtains washed in the late spring are grey with filth. It’s impossible to keep up with the cleaning. And we have absolutely no idea what’s in the dust.”
It's not clear whether there are any violations--and none have been found, according to the Department of Buildings web site.

Well, the pattern with Atlantic Yards has been that improvements in procedures--whether or not previous procedures were compliant with the law--have come about only after neighbors' monitoring and complaints. And Forest City Ratner has done better. But it's taken a while.

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