Michael Gross decries DOB’s, Extell’s actions in crane debacle

May 07, 2013 01:30PM

Real estate author Michael Gross is none too pleased that he is being asked to evacuate his home at The Alwyn Court co-ops at 180 West 58th Street once again, thanks to continued issues with the crane at nearby luxury tower One57, as he described in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, the developer of the tower at 157 West 57th Street, offered $1,500 to each household at the Alwyn as compensation for the hassle of evacuating for the second time since Hurricane Sandy, when the crane boom cracked under the force of powerful winds.

Last week, the city asked area residents to leave their homes in order to reinstall the tower crane, as previously reported.

Extell has since dropped a demand that residents present receipts before getting reimbursed after the New York Times reported on the second evacuation, Gross wrote.

But Gross, who is writing a book on 15 Central Park West and whose book credits include “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building,” contended that the city’s behavior in the matter has been “disgraceful.”

Extell was supposed to give Alwyn residents 10 days’ notice before filing to change its Department of Buildings plans, but provided none, he wrote. Gross suggested that a week’s notice would have made it “virtually impossible” for Alwyn residents to protest the evacuation.

“Why isn’t Extell simply bringing its crane down, attaching its new boom, and taking it up again, instead of creating and declaring an emergency and doing it all in a day? No one has offered an official explanation, but time and money seem the likely suspects,” Gross wrote.

Gross said he initially had to evacuate six days after Sandy hit. [NYT]Mark Maurer