Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner could have prevented the potentially deadly partial collapse of the Wards Bakery in April that sent bricks raining onto Pacific Street, according to a long-awaited Department of Buildings report.
The seven-page report details years of water damage and neglect that led up to the April 26 collapse of the historic building’s 200-foot parapet, concluding that the owner who inherited the damage — Ratner — should have warned demolition workers about the 100-year-old building’s dangerous condition.
“Forest City Ratner had been apprised of the deterioration … but the extent of the deterioration and the risk of the collapse had apparently not been communicated to the crew,” the report states.
The parapet fell only days after workers began demolishing the ornate, tile-covered Wards building to make room for a parking lot within the controversial residential, retail, office-space and arena complex.
Miraculously, no one was injured by the falling debris, which crashed down more than 50 feet and totaled several cars.
Upon completion of the report, Forest City was hit with violations for failing to maintain an exterior building wall and removing a sidewalk safety shed while preparing the site for demolition work and failing to replace it.
“Given the deteriorated condition of the faÃƒÂ§ade and parapet, the asbestos removal should not have proceeded without protective measures in place,” the report said.
Gateway Demolition, a Forest City contractor, received a lesser violation for failing to protect workers.
Atlantic Yards opponents were slightly vindicated by the news that Ratner would be fined for the collapse — but still not satisfied.
“Given the history of the construction here, there must be more oversight,” said Peter Krashes, a resident of Dean Street.
Owing to a company policy, Forest City Ratner didn’t respond to questions from The Brooklyn Paper. Company executive Bruce Bender told the Daily News that the company believed “that all safety measures were being taken” at the time of the accident.
Before the messy demolition began, the Wards Bakery building was considered for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.