Man who fell to death at Flatotel site identified as NJ architect

Bruno Travalja was kneeling to take a measurement before falling from the 42nd floor

Renderings of 135 West 52nd Street (Credit: Williams New York)
Renderings of 135 West 52nd Street (Credit: Williams New York)

Authorities have identified the man who fell to his death from a Midtown office-and-residential condominium conversion project as New Jersey architect Bruno Travalja.

Bruno Travalja

Travalja, 52, was kneeling to take a measurement on the 42nd floor of 135 West 52nd Street just before he fell, Gothamist reported. It’s unclear what caused him to fall, but Travalja was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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The Chetrit Group [TRDataCustom] and Clipper Equity are currently converting the building, the Flatotel, into residential condominium and office space. Travalja owned his own company in New Jersey, but his role in the project was not immediately clear. A representative for Cetra/Ruddy, the architect of record on the project, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The owners experienced a number of issues with the conversion last year.  In October, Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, and BTA, one of the country’s largest banks, filed a lawsuit alleging that Chetrit had accepted a $40 million investment in stolen money. The suit was settled in November. [Gothamist] — Kathryn Brenzel