Despite a powerful explosion that sent shrapnel flying across Chelsea and injured 29 people Saturday night, the buildings surrounding the blast on West 23rd Street were largely undamaged.
“The Department of Buildings inspected a number of buildings in the adjacent area, and determined that they were not structurally compromised by the explosion,” a representative from the DOB told The Real Deal on Monday.
The homemade pressure cooker device detonated Saturday night in a dumpster outside of 131 West 23rd Street, a boutique hotel owned by Jeffrey Dagowitz’s JHG Holdings. Dagowitz, who bought the building for $11.3 million last year and is planning a new 35-story residential building at the site, was not immediately available on Monday for comment. Police evacuated both the five-story bed and breakfast and the neighboring building at 135 West 23rd Street, a 210-unit residence for the blind.
The adjacent property to the west of the Associated Blind Housing, at 155 West 23rd Street, was part of the 14-building Ring portfolio purchased by Extell Development and sold to Newark, New Jersey-based Edison Properties in September 2015, property records show. Extell also sold the ground lease to the 12-story Chelsea property for $57.3 million to the Kaufman Organization that same month. Kaufman has planned a $10 million dollar renovation of the dilapidated 82,000-square-foot office building. A representative for Kaufman confirmed there was no damage to the property.
At 123 West 23rd Street, the site of the long-closed Church of St. Vincent De Paul, police were sorting through debris on Saturday night. That site, owned by the Archdiocese of New York, is expected to be sold to developers pending final approval in Rome, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A second pressure cooker device was found in a white garbage bag on West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, but didn’t detonate.
One suspect, identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested in Linden, N.J., following a gun battle with police in which he was shot multiple times.
Law enforcement officials believe Rahami was also responsible for a backpack full of pipe bombs found in Elizabeth, New Jersey late Sunday night. Federal and local authorities are still investigating the incidents, and it hasn’t yet been labeled an act of terrorism.
Since 2002, businesses have the option to participate in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, a federal reinsurance backstop for losses caused by large-scale terrorist attacks. After lapsing briefly in 2014, the program was reauthorized through 2020. In 2016, losses must exceed $120 million in order for a company to be eligible for compensation through the program.