Full demo set for half-collapsed Tribeca loft

alternate textPhotos of 87 Chambers Street. From left: Chambers Street side, interior, Reade Street side, exterior wall

The owner of a 19th century Tribeca loft building at 87 Chambers Street that partially collapsed this spring filed for a full demolition permit to raze the remaining portion of the structure, the city Department of Buildings Web site shows.

The application by 87 Chambers LLC to tear down the remaining half of the five-story building was filed Dec. 24, city records show. A permit for a new, eight-story hotel or dormitory building for the parcel between Broadway and Church Street was approved in August, city records reveal.

A portion of the western half of the building collapsed at about 6:15 a.m. on April 30 with a rumble and cloud of dust. A visit to the site today reveals that an approximately 25-foot wide, five-story building extending from Reade Street to Chambers Street still remains standing, and inside, steel beams provide support. It is that portion that will be demolished upon approval of the permit.

The Italianate-style building, which also has the address 71 Reade Street, was constructed in 1856 and is part of the Tribeca South Historic District, designated in 1992.

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An earlier development plan for the building, purchased in October 2007 for $20.75 million, was to construct a 95-unit hotel while maintaining the original facades.

Just one day before the building collapse, a complaint was filed alleging that the building seemed unstable, and in 2008, inspectors found a 10-foot long crack in the exterior wall, DOB records show.

The city Environmental Control Board issued a violation with a $4,000 penalty on June 29 for working without a permit at the site. The fine remains unpaid, the DOB Web site indicates. However, very little activity has taken place at the building since the spring.

In published reports earlier this year, the property owner Aharon Vaknin blamed a new building being constructed next door, which is now partially built, for causing the collapse.

Vaknin did not respond to calls seeking comment.