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550 Vanderbilt: violations, pending fines, and a new model apartment (with a stop-work order)

As 550 Vanderbilt, the project's first condo building, prepares to welcome residents (owners and, presumably, tenants), it's worth taking a look at the Department of Buildings' page, which links to TCOs (Temporary Certificates of Occupancy, not yet granted) and pending fines, plus the Partial Stop Work order below.


The DOB's home page for this building refers in red to a Partial SWO. Click through and it explains that a model apartment on the second floor doesn't have a permit, so all use of the model (as a residence) should stop without that permit.  

Work cannot continue at this part of the building until the model apartment is returned to what was is shown in the DOB-approved plans and a certificate of correction is filed, according to the DOB.

The status says RES, which means it was acted upon by DOB. The Partial SWO is still in effect until they obtain a permit. Meanwhile, the developer has unveiled a model apartment (presumably this one), according to Curbed. So it cannot legally be used as a dwelling, but presumably it can be shown.

Past violations, not all resolved

A subcontractor, Posillico Tully, was on 4/25/16 was found in violation for inadequate safety measures for loading steel sheeting. It has not recorded compliance, but appears to have paid the $10,000 penalty. A separate DOB penalty of $1,500 is due.

That same day, the firm was found in violation for "improperly marked or non-identified hosting equipment" used for loading steel. Its certificate of compliance was disapproved 10/19/16, but the firm did pay the $1,600 penalty. A separate DOB penalty of $1,500 is due.

On 9/15/16, the contractor, Plaza Construction, was found in violation of safeguarding workers on the 9th floor. The firm has paid a $10,000 penalty, but the certificate of compliance is pending.

On that same day, Plaza was found in violation for working without a permit, apparently at a model apartment on the second floor. It has paid a $1,600 fine, but the certificate of compliance is pending.

Also on that day, Plaza was found in violation, apparently for lacking a scaffold use certificate. It has pad an $800 fine, but the certificate of compliance is pending.

What next?

If violating condition is not corrected or penalties paid, that could lead to additional enforcement actions and additional penalties, as well as disciplinary action against construction professionals.

Open DOB violations can present difficulties when trying to sell or refinance a property. And if a civil penalty is not paid, an owner will be unable to pull further permits or file for a Certificate of Occupancy.

While Temporary Certificates of Occupancy surely are being sought before a final one, the above suggests that all will be ultimately taken care of.

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