All fall down! Conselyea building partially collapses

At least three construction workers were injured when this Conselyea Street building crumbled on top of them in Williamsburg. Fire officials said the workers were adding a fourth floor at the time of the incident.
Community Newspaper Group / Andy Campbell

A three-story building in Williamsburg, once the home of a neighborhood real estate broker, collapsed on Monday afternoon, injuring four people.

The building on 34 Conselyea St., between Union and Lorimer streets, was undergoing restoration when it caved in at 1:29 pm, briefly trapping one worker, who ended up in critical condition at Bellevue.

Three other workers were taken to Woodhull Hospital with minor injuries.

The building was the childhood home of Apartment and Lofts President David Maundrell and is owned by his mother, Lucille, who was renovating the property in an attempt to put it on the market.

“We are working with the Department of Buildings to determine the cause of the collapse,” she said Lucille. “Our thoughts are with the workers injured in this unfortunate accident.”

City officials halted work on the site on Tuesday and the Fire Department finished removing all lose debris and erected a security fence around the property.

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri revealed that “structural changes to the interior of the building,” resulting from renovations to add an additional floor and penthouse, were the likely cause of the devastation.

City inspectors said they are reaching out this week to the project’s contractor, China Perfect Construction in Bay Ridge, and engineer Anthony Gennaro to assist with the investigation. Calls to China Perfect Construction and Gennaro were not returned.

The project’s architect, Hernan Galvis of Carroll Gardens-based Fractal Architecture, declined to comment.

Built in 2008 and containing nine units, the building has had structural troubles. A city inspector observed cracks in the exterior of the building last May.

The neighboring building, owned by Isabella Restoration LLC, also a construction site, received complaints this February regarding the undermining of its foundation by construction workers. A city inspector was unable to gain access to that building after two attempts.

A year prior, work on the building was halted by the city because of concerns over its construction.

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