City lifts stop-work orders against Extell tower

Photo by Yannic Rack
The mirror-glass-clad One Manhattan Square, next to the Manhattan Bridge, will be one of the tallest buildings in all Downtown Manhattan.
Currently under construction, the mirror-glass-clad One Manhattan Square, just north of the Manhattan Bridge  — seen in a design image from the project’s marketing materials — will be one of the tallest buildings in all Downtown Manhattan.

BY LESLEY SUSSMAN | Representatives from Extell Development Corporation — which is constructing the massive 80-story One Manhattan Square condo tower at 250 South St. — and its Lend Lease management company recently appeared before a Community Board 3 subcommittee and announced that sales will go online for domestic buyers beginning in September.

The tower, with 815 proposed condo units, being developed on the former South St. Pathmark site, has, so far, been mainly marketed abroad, most notably in Asia. An additional 205-unit, 13-story affordable housing building to be located alongside the tower is slated for mid-2018 completion.

The project has come under sharp attack from nearby residents who have bitterly complained that the new Extell building is wrecking the neighborhood in many ways, from construction noise and structural damage to their dwellings to fears that the project  may result in the gentrification of the neighborhood and force low-to-moderate-income residents to leave because of rising rents.

At the Wed., March 9, meeting of C.B. 3’s Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing  Subcommittee, Extell representatives heard a plea from Trever Holland, president of the tenants association at the nearby 82 Rutgers Slip, that they be given more up-to-date information about goings-on at the construction site.

“We need better communication between the owners and our tenant association,” he said. “A lot of stuff goes on that we don’t hear about. Please keep us informed. If there’s some kind of survey in our building, we don’t want our tenants to panic. We want to know what it’s all about and be able to reassure them.”

Rainy Haas, Extell’s senior vice president for development, responded that George Arzt, the company’s P.R. spokesperson, would serve as a special liaison to the association.

“He will make himself available to the tenant  association and handle any requests or problems,” she said.

Holland seemed satisfied by the reply. He said Extell, so far, had been “responsive to almost all our concerns.” Regarding cracks and other damage to apartments in his building from vibrations, Holland said he felt Extell would uphold its word to repair any such damage.

“I’m confident all apartments will be repaired,” he said. “Most of the damage is just cracks in the walls and not very serious.”

Haas and construction manager Sharon Stern gave an update on the project. Hass added that a full stop-work order from the city has been lifted, and that a remaining partial stop-work order was expected to be lifted in “a few days.”

“Work has been going on smoothly except in the limited area where the temporary work stoppage order is in effect,” she said. The partial stop-work, in fact, was lifted March 15.

The stoppages were ordered by the Department of Buildings on Feb. 18 after inspectors found “immediately hazardous conditions” in the construction area.

The action stemmed from a Jan. 7 complaint made by a resident of 286 South St., who said the construction was causing cracks in her walls.

When D.O.B. investigated a week later, the agency issued a stop-work order after inspectors observed that the construction was creating movement at this and other adjoining buildings.   

Work did not stop, however, according to a second complaint filed on Feb. 17, so D.O.B. slapped another violation on Extell and Lend Lease, along with a second partial stop-work order.