Thursday, September 20, 2007

Will Demolition of Williamsburg's Fart Cloud Building Make a Stink?

Demolition crews have shown up at the 5 Roebling Street in Williamsburg, the building that used to be a cabbage processing plant and gained the name the "Giant Fart Cloud Building" from advice blogger and writer Bad Advice. The story of what is to come there will be of interest for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the structure is across the street from the Roebling Oil field and is listed as having hazardous material/environmental issues in need of monitoring. We opined recently that the odds are fifty-fifty that contractors will strike oil when they start digging on the site. (This is strictly a guess.)

It becomes more interesting because Bad Advice--which provided the photo above--noted that the demolition contractor on the project, MMG Design, has a very interesting history. We were reading an item about them that ran on Brownstoner last year, when it dawned on us that we'd reported the same story too after getting emails from unhappy neighbors. In that case, workers were said to be engaging in a variety of unsafe practices, even putting a child in danger in the eyes of parents who said they were unconcerned about a toddler playing in a yard nearby. Mr. Brownstoner used the word "pillaging" to describe their activity on Clifton Place.

In any case, here's an excerpt from the email about the beginning of the end of the Giant Fart Cloud Building which is close to cutting its final cheese:
They're digging up the sidewalk in front of the cabbage factory/5 Roebling. I have a feeling this is the beginning of an EXTREMELY loud fall...It's now just a giant hole that some guy is working inside. I don't think it's a fence. I think there's something wrong down there. There had been a steady stream of water oozing out from under the gate, so maybe there's a main break or something. Who knows.
We have a feeling the work at 5 Roebling is going to provide the material many posts, for many, many reasons.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome to Toxic Condo land aka Williamsburg---suck in the vapors and die early---no recoure either--one to sue when the developers have unloaded this crap on the pretty young things who have bought these new condos in Williamsburg-SUCKERS--suck up the vapors---hahha they al say they are so Green-- yet they want to live in a toxic site condo??? Watch the prices plummet when these dumb kids wake up to how badly they were shafted!!!

The fact is, asking prices are down already in Williamsburg. Local broker David Maundrell says the area is off as much as 10 percent, though he’s quick to add that it looks like it’s stabilized. The culprit appears to be the huge amount of new construction (and reconstruction). According to the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, the Department of Buildings issued 559 new certificates of occupancy here in 2005—more than five times as many as in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens combined. That said, some ’Burghers have a lot more to worry about than others. “Everything good that Williamsburg is known for, it’s on the north side,” says Maundrell. South of North 1st Street, things get far dicier, especially in smaller condo projects (eight units and below) with “rental-quality” finishes. They don’t offer much in the way of amenities, turning off high-end buyers. They also attract plenty of first-timers—creative types, often freelance workers, who have availed themselves of “exotic” mortgages that didn’t require much documentation. (At least 30 percent of Maundrell’s local clients fill the bill, he admits.) Those “no-doc loans” are harder to come by now, so if these folks can’t spring for those apartments anymore, who will? Greenpoint may see a related decline in property values, because its market catches the Williamsburg overflow. If those T-shirt designers and bloggers can suddenly afford their first choices, closer to the all-holy Bedford Avenue stop on the L, they’ll abandon Greenpoint in a Brooklyn minute.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...that dude is a serious hater.

1:01 PM  

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