Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Breaking news from 711 W.E.A. tenants fighting construction


 TAG Challenges Developer’s Tenant Protection Plan
On June 14 TAG filed the strongly worded report of our structural engineer with the Department of Buildings (“DOB”) to challenge the “Tenant Protection Plan” (TPP) submitted by developer Kalikow in support of its application for a permit to construct a ten-story luxury condominium atop 711 West End Avenue, our rent-stabilized, mid-1950’s combustible red brick building.  Note that 711, which has144 units, is nearly fully occupied.  While the DOB initially approved the TPP on May 29, 2015, under the New York City Building Code there is 15-day post-approval period within which to revoke the plan. Our submission of the engineer’s powerful report fell within that challenge period.

TAG also sent copies of the engineer’s detailed, five-page report to Council Member Helen Rosenthal and State Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, both strong supporters of TAG, as well as to a number of other elected officials.

Key Conclusions from Engineer Report
Under the New York City   Administrative Code a developer must file a tenant pro­tec­tion plan for any dwelling that will be occupied during on-site construction. Under the Code: "The elements of this plan… shall make detailed and specific provisions” for the safety and well being of the extant tenants. The TPP must address the issues of noise, dust, egress and fire.

The engineer wrote, “It is my finding that the Tenant Protection Plan submitted is very general, fails drastically to account for both the size and complexity of the pro­ject and ultimately falls far short on every code requirement cited above.” He found that the TPP neither makes any provision for the structural safety of the building nor for the tenants living in it.

What Next?
Based on the depth of the engineer’s report and its strong conclusions, our TAG attorneys sent an accompanying letter to DOB Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, with a copy to DOB Manhattan Borough Commissioner Martin Rebholz, to urge that they reject the Kalikow Tenant Protection Plan in its entirety.

TAG is now awaiting the DOB’s response.  In the meantime we continue to work with our attorneys, our engineer and Council Member Helen Rosenthal to secure any and all documents supporting any approved applications for the planned con­struction in order to continue to challenge the viability of this dangerous construction.

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