City shuts down Marine Park development for unsafe conditions, unapproved elevator

The city shut down construction on an Avenue T building for failing to conform to approve blueprints.
Photo by Zoe Freilich

City regulators shut down a Marine Park development site after the builders flagrantly ignored city-approved construction blueprints — and put workers’ lives at risk in the process, according to a Department of Buildings spokeswoman.

“We issued a stop work order for the site…and issued violations to the contractor for disregarding the approved plans and putting workers in jeopardy by skirting safety regulations,” said Abigail Kunitz.

Neighbors filed 11 official complaints to the department since June 2018, claiming that the project at the intersection of Avenue T and Hendrickson Street was not conforming to the permitted plans by exceeding height limits and creating an unapproved elevator shaft, among other violations. 

The department eventually conducted an inspection on the site on Feb. 5 and found the outlaw elevator shaft — including a bulkhead that rises well above the two-story building — as well as missing guardrails and netting meant to protect construction workers, according to Kunitz.

On an otherwise sleepy street stocked with one-family homes, the sizable height of the rising building alarmed neighbors, who claimed the structure did not match the plans posted outside of the site. 

“It is two completely different structures than were presented to people on my block,” said David Fitzgerald. “It now has a massive steel frame with a four-story tall elevator shaft. We don’t even know what this building is.” 

The building also entirely eclipses its next-door neighbor, blocking all the sunlight to the adjoining backyard, according to Fitzgerald

“The whole building blocks out all the light from that man’s backyard,” he said. “It may not bother everybody, but the ones that think like me — that’s just not right.” 

In addition to halting ongoing construction, the department slapped the contractors with two violations for the illicit activities and inadequate safety measures. 

The building’s developer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.