Extell Development Corp. has been stepping up work lately at the former Pathmark site on Cherry Street, where it’s building a 68-story luxury residential tower. But yesterday the Department of Buildings slapped a partial stop work order on the whole site, which carries the addresses 227 Cherry St. and 250 South St. The inspector noted: “No excavation operations. Provide site safety manager forthwith.”
Earlier in the day yesterday we toured the area around the construction site with Trever Holland and Elaine Hoffman, tenant leaders at Two Bridges Tower, the adjacent building. In the past several days, they said, engineers have been patching the walkway alongside the construction site as the concrete buckles and cracks.
There are also concerns about the stability of the former Pathmark pharmacy building, which sits just to the east of the Extell development parcel, as well as a daycare center located on the ground floor of the Two Bridges building. Crews from Lend Lease, Extell’s contractor, have been installing metal sheeting along the perimeter of the site in preparation for digging the foundation for the massive skyscraper.
Residents have been urging Extell to schedule quarterly meetings to answer questions and address issues that come up. So far, Holland, said, they have not committed to doing that.
UPDATE 12/22 Here’s what we’re told by Victor Papa of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, the co-owner of Two Bridges Tower. He initially became concerned about construction issues alongside the daycare center and went to talk with Extell representatives about the situation. After expressing worries about safety and the integrity of the wall that is adjacent to the construction site, Two Bridges brought in their own engineer to have a look. Papa said he was ultimately satisfied that steps were being taken to make sure the day care center and residents were not being endangered. He points out, as noted above, that the “stop work order” is related to the absence of site safety manager and not because of the buckling/cracking sidewalk. Papa said Extell has promised to repair the walkway area.