The Real Deal New York

Harlem residents concerned about safety following construction incidents

May 08, 2012 01:00PM

A spate of Harlem construction accidents and collapses has neighborhood residents worried about their safety, DNAinfo reported. This news comes in the wake of the collapse of a five-story brownstone at 110 West 123rd Street into a community garden last Friday that left nobody injured.

Construction is speeding up in Harlem. So far in 2012, five new construction permits were issued to the Department of Buildings for Harlem developments. At the same time, there have been accidents. A 10-foot brick wall collapsed inside of 51 East 125th Street at Madison Avenue in late April, a March 22 collapse of a Columbia University-owned warehouse at 606 West 131st Street left one worker dead and two others seriously injured and a trench collapse at East 122nd Street and Park Avenue in early March left a man buried to his waist in debris.

Central Harlem Councilmember Inez Dickens told DNAinfo that she will meet with the DOB to discuss the stability of the building that collapsed Friday. Syderia Chresfield, the president of the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association, said that residents have to be more proactive with regards to new Harlem structures. “We can’t let something like this happen again because we might not be so lucky next time,” she said.

The DOB has enacted dozens of construction safety laws since 2008 and has created new inspection units, but the agency has acknowledged “room for improvement.” [DNAinfo]