The Real Deal New York

DOB’s epic bureaucratic blunder led to discovery that Menachem Stark’s former building is “dangerous”

Plans submitted and approved at 120 South 4th Street -- forced to emergency vacate last month -- were actually 261 North 9th Street

December 18, 2015 08:00AM

120 South 4th Street

120 South 4th Street in Williamsburg

Talk about your all-time bureaucratic blunders – the city’s Department of Buildings reportedly approved a Williamsburg residential development based on plans for a completely different address, leading to the construction of an unsafe building that residents were forced to vacate last month.

The DOB issued an emergency vacate order for the luxury rental building at 120 South 4th Street in Williamsburg – formerly owned by murdered landlord Menachem Stark — in November after a general contractor who signed a lease for a retail space on the ground floor noticed structural flaws at the property.

The contractor, Labib Krunfol, and his workers inspected the basement under the retail space and noticed a support column missing from underneath the store, according to DNAinfo. Furthermore, beams that ran across the basement ceiling didn’t connect to supports in the walls.

Upon pulling copies of the building’s original plans, Krunfol was shocked to find that most of the plans were for a completely different address in Williamsburg – 261 North 9th Street. Roughly 50 tenants were affected by the city’s subsequent notice to vacate, just before Thanksgiving.

A spokesperson for the Department of Buildings told DNAinfo the matter is “under investigation.” The city signed off on the building’s certificate of occupancy in July 2014 – six months after former owner Stark’s shocking murder. The property is now owned by Stark’s brother-in-law, Abraham Bernat. [DNAinfo] — Rey Mashayekhi