The jackhammers and drills have gone silent at Extell Development’s forthcoming condominium tower on the Lower East Side, after the developer was ordered by the city to stop work.
The city’s Department of Buildings slapped Extell and construction manager Lend Lease with the order on Feb. 18, after inspectors found “immediately hazardous conditions” at the site, located at 252 South Street, according to the DOB’s website.
The project, dubbed One Manhattan Square, is one of Extell’s largest development to date and is set to rise 80 stories and hold 815 residential units.
The DOB’s recent action stems from a Jan. 7 complaint made by a resident of 286 South Street, who said construction at One Manhattan Square was causing cracks in her walls.
When the DOB went to investigate a week later, “it was observed that due to construction operations, the contractor created movement at [the] adjoining building,” according to a partial stop-work order issued on Jan. 14.
Work did not stop, however, according to a second complaint. On Feb. 17, the DOB doled out another violation to Extell and Lend Lease for allegedly failing to comply with its first order. The DOB then issued another partial stop work order on Feb. 18.
Gary Barnett’s firm referred questions to Lend Lease, which in a statement said that is “working with the project consultants to provide the Department of Buildings with documentation requested related to this matter.”
The development site, a former Pathmark, is adjacent to Two Bridges, a 198-unit building built in the 1990s for formerly homeless families. Extell reportedly paid $175 million for the site in 2013, including a $47 million buyback of Pathmark’s lease.
This past summer, construction at 252 South Street hit a snag over concerns that excavation work was causing parts of Cherry Street to collapse. Contractors reportedly installed shoring braces to prop up the street, in addition to repairing cracks in the asphalt.
Extell recently dropped One Manhattan Square’s total sellout price by $207.3 million to $1.87 billion, as The Real Deal previously reported. “We’re going to be very conservative here,” Barnett said.
Prices at the development, estimated to be complete in 2019, will start around $1 million. One Manhattan Square still projects to have a record sellout in Lower Manhattan.