Construction worker injured at 432 Park Avenue

Debris falls five stories, marking the latest accident at NYC’s soon-to-be tallest residential tower

TRD New York /
Mar.March 15, 2013 07:39 PM

Falling debris injured a construction worker today at 432 Park Avenue, the site of the skyscraper under development by Macklowe Properties and CIM Group, The Real Deal has learned.

The Fire Department of New York confirmed that a 30-year-old male was injured when a pallet of wood dropped onto his leg at the construction site for the project, a highly anticipated condominium development on the former site of the Drake Hotel. The call came in at 4 p.m. and the man was taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, according to a FDNY spokesperson. Though the FDNY would not comment further on the man’s condition, a source familiar with the situation said that he was in stable condition.

The wood, a four-foot by eight-foot piece of plywood, was being hoisted to the fifth floor when it came loose and plummeted to the ground, according to a complaint filed this afternoon with the city’s Department of Buildings.

Harry Macklowe of Macklowe Properties declined to comment on the incident. A spokesperson for CIM, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, did not immediately return requests for comment, nor did a spokesperson for Lend Lease, the contractor on the project.

The construction accident comes on the heels of another incident at the site, between East 56th and East 57th streets, where a crane smashed into a parapet wall at the adjacent 48 East 57th Street. DOB issued a stop work order on Feb. 21 and cited Lend Lease for “inadequate safety measures,” records show. However, the violation was quickly resolved, and work resumed shortly after, according to published reports.

The DOB also issued a partial stop work order shortly after initial demolition work began at the site in October 2011, and the department cited the developers for beginning excavation without proper notification. (Of course, 432 Park is not the only major New York City development to face construction woes and DOB actions.)

A spokesperson for DOB was not immediately available to comment.

CIM acquired the site for $305 million in 2010. With 128 residential units and 12-foot high ceilings, the mixed-use project is slated to cost $1 billion.

It is set to grow to 1,398 feet — surpassing the height of Extell Development’s One57 Down The Street, and making it the tallest residential tower in New York City, at least for a time — when it is completed in 2016. The burgeoning tower will also offer retail and will be designed by SLCE Architects.

Construction accidents have historically plagued Manhattan’s record-setting towers. A construction crane at One57, where Lend Lease is also the contractor, collapsed during Hurricane Sandy, resulting in evacuations around the site for nearly a week. In 2004, as the Time Warner Center rose over Columbus Circle, construction materials fell from an upper floor, killing a construction worker, according to reports.

Additional reporting by Leigh Kamping-Carder

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