The Real Deal New York

Two Related buildings not accessible to disabled: U.S. attorney

One Carnegie Hall and Tribeca Green allegedly in violation; architects Stern, Leyva also named
March 18, 2014 08:55AM

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has slapped the Related Companies with a lawsuit alleging two of the developer’s buildings are inaccessible to residents with disabilities and therefore in violation of the Americans with Disabilities and Fair Housing acts.

The buildings in question — One Carnegie Hill at 215 East 96th Street and Tribeca Green at 325 North End Avenue – have kitchens and bathrooms with too little floor space for wheel chairs to maneuver, bathroom features that make grab bar installation difficult, a lack of braille lettering in the buildings’ common areas and high steps and thresholds that “interfere with accessible routes,” the suit charges. The complain also takes issue with the width of doors and entry-ways, the New York Observer reported. The suit also names the architects of the two buildings, Robert A.M. Stern and Ismael Leyva, charging them with “failing to design and construct covered multi-family dwellings and associated places of public accommodation, so as to be accessible to persons with disabilities.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office aims to have all future Related projects, including the residential tower at 15 Hudson Yards, placed on hold until the developer addresses the issues alleged in the lawsuit.

“We will not allow developers and architects who deprive people with disabilities of accessible housing to evade the consequences of their failure to comply with clear, long-standing federal civil rights laws,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement cited by the Observer.

Related told the Observer it hopes to iron out a resolution with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“We have labored in good faith to reach a resolution, going substantially beyond what we felt was legally required,” Related said in a statement to the Observer. “Unfortunately, for the time being, we have reached an impasse with the Government which we believe is asking for things not required by law.” [NYO]Julie Strickland

  • It appears that the federal government would rather have less overall housing available to the majority then to have a surfeit of housing that couldn’t accommodate a small minority of disabled. Figures.

  • more details pls

    I didn’t know the US Attorney’s office was so interested in real estate. Did they bring this lawsuit because they were contacted or they were initiated the suit?

    What did the govt demand more than required? Shouldn’t this have been the relevant department for disabilities vs the builder?

  • daddadda

    If the plans did not conform to ADA why did the BD approve them ?

  • A building must be careful in making remodeling alterations to public areas. It must provide an accessible route to key areas. These areas include bathrooms, telephones and drinking fountains. A building without accessibility solution is value less. An elevator can be part of the Architectural Finishes of Your Home.
    Residential Lift