Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All in a Day's Development: Black Markets, Damage, Scams, Death, Etc.

Sixteen Street Building

The Daily News is looking into the dark side of the development boom in Brooklyn and elsewhere around the city that has been chronicled by many bloggers, but which has gotten only fleeting attention in the mainstream press. What the paper finds comes as no surprise to residents whose quality of life has been violated and to those following the fallout of the Great Building Boom of the Early 2000s: myriad safety violations, developers and builders that ignore the law with impunity, residents whose homes are literally being undermined and a city government that is either (a) mindbogglingly incompetent, (b) stunningly disinterested or (c) frighteningly corrupt. Put every borough in the city together, and it could well be one of the bigger scandals in recent municipal history. Yet, the fact is that the problems associated with the Development Industrial Complex have barely caused a ripple in the print and broadcast media, other than occasional investigations by the News.

Overall, the News writes in the kickoff story, which ran on Sunday:
  • Low-rise middle class neighborhoods battered and overwhelmed by the construction of high-rise condos for the wealthy.
  • Residents forced to flee their homes or pay massive repair bills because of shoddy and dangerous construction - often performed by contractors working on projects next door or nearby.
  • Abuses by architects and engineers in the self-certification program, where they attest that regulations have been met without an independent inspection.
  • Developers who ignore fines and penalties, or treat them as the cost of doing business.
  • Workers forced to work in unsafe conditions while being cheated of their rightful wages.
Two articles, so far, have focused on the South Slope, which is one of citywide poster children for Battered Neighborhood Victims of Developer Abuse. One of the articles deals with the battle over the Katan Towers at 182 15th Street. Another article deals with damage caused by 226 16th Street, where two workers were also seriously injured. A third story deals with one of our favorite topics, the Armory Plaza, the development at 406-408 15th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves., which has caused the widely chronicled crack problem in neighboring buildings. Of this hard-hit part of the South Slope, Brian Kates writes in the News:
Few areas of the city have been more hard-hit by building boondoggles than a small swath of Brooklyn known as south Park Slope. Here, in just four blocks on 15th St. and 16th St. between Fourth and Eighth Aves., irresponsible builders have damaged adjacent properties, forced families to evacuate and assaulted the neighborhood with demolition dust and construction noise for at least three years, a Daily News investigation shows.
Just in case anyone thought it was all in the imaginations of those that have been fighting to bring attention to the problems for a long time.

Related Post:
Celebrating Two Years of South Slope Crack With More Crack

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUDE!! Did you read "The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutierrez"? That doesn't make your noticing it NOW any less apt but it's also not fucking NEW. That the Daily News couldn't give props to Breslin for beating there goddamn ass seven years ago... isn't a surprise either.

Go to BPLP yesterday & get the damn book-- (because it's obvious you weren't here to follow it when it happened.)

9:30 PM  

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