Amenities work at 20 Pine suspended

By Adam Pincus | February 02, 2009 02:26PM

Construction on the amenities portion of the luxury condominium conversion 20 Pine Street in the Financial District will be stopped for one week starting today, to concentrate on completing about 50 residential units, the building’s marketing manager Michael Shvo said.

Shvo, president of the building’s exclusive agent Shvo Marketing, said Boymelgreen Developers told him it was expecting to close those units in the next four to six weeks and wanted to have them finished first. The move, he said, was not indicative of any financial troubles at the building.

“Instead of completing the other areas they are focusing this week on completing the residential units,” he said. There are approximately 30,000 square feet of amenities including a pool and weight room that are approximately 50 percent finished, Shvo said.

An official with the management company Cooper Square Realty sent an e-mail to condo owners Friday saying he had been informed by the developer that construction would be halted until February 9, but did not explain why it was halted or if it might continue beyond next Monday.

“Unfortunately, at this time I have not been provided any further information as to the cause of this stoppage of work,” Cooper Square general manager Jeffrey Cohen wrote to owners in the e-mail.

The message continued: “Please note that this will not affect any building services and as always the staff and management team will be onsite. As soon as I have any further information about this I will be communicating such immediately.”

There are no stop-work orders on the property, according to the city’s Department of Buildings.

The 38-story former Chase Bank Building is being converted by Boymelgreen into 409 residential units, but it has been beset by construction delays. The first closings were in April.

Real estate attorney Eric Zipkowitz, a partner with Wachtel & Masyr, who has no personal knowledge of the situation at 20 Pine, said a one-week halt in work may indicate financial problems or may not.

“This type of thing does happen from time-to-time as priorities shift during completion of a job,” he said. “Whether or not it is an indication of further delays in the completion of the amenities for monetary or other reasons, only time will tell.”

The developers and Shvo were targeted in a lawsuit last summer by a condo buyer frustrated that construction was taking longer than expected. That case is still pending, according to the plaintiff’s attorney Robert Rimberg.

Calls to Boymelgreen and Cooper Square Realty were not immediately returned.