Wednesday, October 19, 2016

B12 footings installed in good faith? Construction Updates indicate "one permanent footing" completed (plus new photos)

View looking north from Dean Street building
Last week, I expressed skepticism about Pacific Park project director Susi Yu saying, regarding the delayed B12 condo site (aka 615 Dean) next to the 550 Vanderbilt tower, "We actually put the footings in to preserve our 421-a benefit."

But did they really commence construction on 615 Dean to preserve that lucrative tax break?

The 421-a law says "'commence' shall mean the date upon which excavation and construction of initial footings and foundations lawfully begins in good faith." (Emphases added)

I showed photos that looked like pretty general excavation, plus a few vertical "knobs" and a white horizontal installation that might be classified as footings.

What the Construction Updates say

A close look at the official Construction Updates shows that the work on B12, first announced 12/21/15 update, almost exclusively involves excavation and the clearing of soil. However, the 1/18/16 Construction Update did say "one permanent footing has been completed." So I should have acknowledged that they have taken a small step forward.

But how does completing one footing--and then stopping for ten months and counting--suggest a good-faith start to construction? Nothing has happened since then. I don't doubt that it's standard practice in construction in New York City to do the bare minimum to qualify for the tax break. If so, though, the city clearly doesn't pursue enforcement.

More photos

Below, some photos looking south from the northern border of the site, the demapped and privatized Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, currently used for construction staging, thanks to a reader who sent them to me.



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