2007-07-06 / Community

Worker Falls Three Stories At Beach 26 Street Construction Site

Stop Work Order Issued On Troubled Building
By Miriam Rosenberg

A stop work order has been issued for the construction site at 120 Beach 26 Street from which a worker fell 25 feet to the ground on Monday afternoon. A stop work order has been issued for the construction site at 120 Beach 26 Street from which a worker fell 25 feet to the ground on Monday afternoon. A 31 year-old construction worker fell 25 feet from a troubled building under construction near the boardwalk at Beach 26 Street on Monday afternoon.

According to reports, Edwin Casco of Woodside was taken to Jamaica Hospital after falling to the ground from the third floor of 120 Beach 26 Street. Casco suffered a severe laceration to the back of his head and internal bleeding. His condition on Tuesday was termed stable but serious, by a police source.

The source added that the accident is still under investigation and that it was noted that none of the workers, including Casco, were wearing safety harnesses, required by NYC's Department of Buildings for workers at above ground construction sites.

Controversy has swirled around the building for the past two years and the Department of Buildings recently ordered that the buildings façade be moved further from the boardwalk. In the wake of the accident, the DOB issued an immediate Stop-Work Order on the site and issued several violations.

According to the DOB Business Information System website, inspectors visited the site on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Noted on the website were comments by one inspector, which echoed The Wave's police source. It reads: "[A] worker without [a] harness fell from [a] third floor balcony."

A representative for the DOB went into more details about the accident.

"They had been working on construction to the third floor," said Carly Sullivan, a spokesperson for the DOB, on Tuesday afternoon. "They overbuilt part of the third floor balcony, which they were demolishing."

Sullivan said the violations were issued due to a combination of the accident and unsafe conditions found during inspections after the accident occurred.

"They had plans and permits, but not approval for demolishing the overbuilt part," explained Sullivan.

Sullivan also said the "building inspectors found conditions that were not in compliance [with DOB regulations]."

In March, the Department of Environmental Conservation ordered that the building, owned by Metroplex On The Atlantic, LLC, be set back 100 feet from the boardwalk and out of the DEC's coastal erosion hazard zone jurisdiction.

At that time the DEC told The Wave that the contractor, American Dreams Production Corporation, had to dismantle the front of the apartment building and that the company had to have the brick and steel structure being built in the coastal erosion hazard area removed by May 31. The concrete slab, footing and foundation must be removed by August 31, and pilings and drywells by November 30.

Workers began to take down part of the building which was overbuilt in the coastal erosion zone in mid-March, but according to the police source, the work that was occurring earlier this week had moved the structure closer to the zone and the boardwalk.

Residents of the area protested the development before ground was even broken.

In November 2005, residents argued that a 12 to 13-story building was out of character with the small bungalows surrounding it (the building is now 15 stories to compensate for the 100-foot setback). They also claimed Metroplex was approved to put in a foundation without a permit for the actual building and that there had been no environmental study or professional land survey.

Sullivan said inspectors would check the site before the end of the week to determine what needs to be fixed to bring the building into compliance with DOB regulations. Inspectors will then do another inspection before the contractors are allowed to restart work at the site.

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