Bungle gym! City’s building collapses near park entrance

Close call: The building collapsed about an hour after Bush Terminal Piers Park closed for the night.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

A decrepit city-owned building collapsed near the entrance to a waterfront park in Sunset Park on June 1.

The warehouse came crashing down onto 43rd Street near First Avenue — along the notoriously serpentine entrance to Bush Terminal Piers Park — at 9 pm, Fire Department officials said. It was surprising that the city would let its building get so run-down — and a lucky break no people were around, said one neighbor.

“So they have the building and just let it fall down? Thank god no one was around,” an employee of a nearby business said. “How long was it dangerous like that?”

The city’s Economic Development Corporation bought the warehouse in a state of “significant disrepair” along with 10 other buildings on the Bush Terminal campus in 2002 — then cut utilities and sealed the building, a spokesman said. The erstwhile structure was slated for demolition sometime next year, he said. The roof likely failed, but officials are still investigating, he said.

No one was injured, a Fire Department spokesman said. Investigators did not immediately find hazardous materials in the rubble, and the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Buildings, and National Grid were in charge of the site as of late Wednesday night, he said.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
In pieces: This building on First Avenue near the entrance to Bush Terminal Piers Park collapsed around 9 pm on June 1.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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