Hotel developer admits its foundation work damaged adjacent building. Developer D.A.B. Group LLC received a foundation permit on September 29, 2008 for its planned 16-story Lower East Side hotel at Rivington and Orchard Streets. Excavation work began one week after the City Planning Commission voted to downzone the area. D.A.B. then obtained a full building permit at 2:21 p.m. on the day that the City Council voted to approve the East Village/Lower East Side rezoning. The new zoning restricted new building heights to 80 ft., making the proposed hotel 111 ft. over the new height limit. Without the full foundation completed, Buildings issued a stop-work order.
Applying to BSA, D.A.B. argued that, despite having only 63 percent of the foundation complete, the work represented the most difficult and time-consuming portion of the construction. This included all 28 H-beams, 100 timber legs and all of the rebar and poured concrete needed to complete the elevator pit floors and walls.
Manhattan Community Board 3 recommended disapproval. The owner of the adjacent building at 127 Orchard Street also opposed, claiming that D.A.B.’s demolition and its excessive pile driving caused significant damage to its building. Council Member Alan J. Gerson asked BSA to delay its vote until D.A.B. addressed the neighbor’s alleged damage.
In response, D.A.B. submitted a letter to BSA, conceding that certain damage occurred, but including vibration readings showing that its work was well below Buildings’ permitted thresholds. It assured BSA that it remained in negotiations with the neighbor over repair costs.
BSA found that D.A.B.’s full building permit preceded the Council’s vote, noting that the meeting started at 2:20 p.m. and the vote took place late in the meeting. After explaining that private disputes over construction damage were beyond its review, BSA approved the permit, giving D.A.B. six months to complete construction.
BSA: 77 – 81 Rivington Street, Manhattan (311-08-BZY) (June 16, 2009) (Neil Weisbard, Slater & Beckerman, for D.A.B.). CITYADMIN