Stop Work Order Issued for 200 Amsterdam Avenue

By Carol Tannenhauser

On Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Buildings (DOB) slapped a “Stop Work Order” on the construction site at 200 Amsterdam Avenue at West 69th Street, halting progress on the planned 51-story building, the height of which is currently being contested in court.

But it was not the lawsuit looming over the building that led to the order; rather, the crane — a Favco M440D tower crane — looming over the site and sidewalk below.

“On October 17th, DOB conducted an inspection of 200 Amsterdam,” said Andrew Rudansky, Senior Deputy Press Secretary at DOB. “It was not a routine inspection, but the result of a 311 complaint submitted by a member of the public, indicating that the construction underway was contrary to the approved plans for the tower project. During the inspection, our inspectors observed that an additional required sidewalk shed had not been installed at the property. This additional sidewalk shed is required to protect pedestrians from ongoing crane operations.”

SJP Properties, the developer of 200 Amsterdam, offered this explanation.

Now that the crane is operational at the site, we’re transitioning to the next phase of development. In preparation for that phase, and to ensure the safety of pedestrians and our construction team, we are transferring the exterior pedestrian walkway that currently exists along Amsterdam Avenue to the interior portion of the project, and we’re building a protective sidewalk bridge for that transfer. Once we complete the sidewalk bridge, we expect to receive immediate DOB approval to resume operation of the crane. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure the utmost safety of pedestrians and the construction team during this project.

”Once this sidewalk shed has been installed,” Rudansky said, “the contractors can request an inspection from DOB to confirm that the work site is safe for work to continue, and that the Stop Work Order be lifted.”

The spokesperson for SJP said construction could resume “as early as Monday.”

Meanwhile, the ultimate fate of 200 Amsterdam remains in the hands of the New York State Supreme Court. A decision is expected by December.

    1. Jen says:

      Don’t trust SJP and greedy developers in their explanation. Really hope Supreme Court makes a decision to stop this for good or at least bring it to decent height. The planned monstrous construction is achieved my blatant and purposeful manipulation of zoning loopholes and screams greed and total disrespect for basic human needs such as air and light.

    2. A.C. says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about that. It seemed odd that neither site had a scaffolding up. Those go up early, far before foundation work. Probably just an oversight

      As long as the stop work order isn’t because of the lawsuit. Just install the scaffolding and be done with it. The stop work order is based on something actual and logical. The lawsuit isn’t.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        How could something like that be “just an oversight”?

        obviously they are cutting corners, to get it up fast before some a judge calls a halt to if.

        • A.C. says:

          Firstly, I said probably, I cannot possibly know until I speak to a spokesperson…

          Secondly, the same thing happened at 170 Amsterdam awhile back – the scaffolding went up later than it was supposed to. They weren’t cutting corners.

          If they were doing something fishy, then they should be called out on it, but we don’t know. Mistakes like this can happen.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          are you saying that at 170 Amsterdam the scaffolding went up AFTER the crane was already installed? that it was the same type of situation?

          wouldn’t any construction professional know that the shed has to be up before the crane was installed?

    3. William Raudenbush says:

      Illegal AND putting the public’s lives in jeapirdy? This is very grave and very serious. Shame on wreckless SJP for their lies and crimes.

      • Reverend Dimmesdale says:

        About “Shame on ‘wreckless’ SJP for their lies and crimes.”

        DEFINITELY SHAME THEM PUBLICLY!

        Make them wear a ‘SCARLET LETTER’ of SHAME; perhaps a “G” for Greedy, or a “B” for Builder, or, even better, a “GB” for “Greedy Builder”!

        Myself and the usual town scolds will see to this immediately!

        Oh, and by-the-way, it’s RECKLESS, not WRECKLESS !

    4. Ye Olde Englishe Teachere says:

      Since there has yet to be a comment to this story, this happily-retired NYC educator offers here several possible typical-topics as writing-motivation:

      1. Cranes are dangerous and can fall on people! Take down the crane! Pro- or Con-?

      2. Cranes cast shadows, stealing our sunlight, even on cloudy days! Take down the crane! Pro- or Con-?

      3. Luxury hi-rises are only for the wealthy! Insist the developer hire mental-health professionals to offer free therapy sessions so that the-rest-of-us may deal with our feelings of inferiority! Pro- or Con-?

      4. Insist the developer provides rent-free apartments for the un-wealthy, but with no shame-inducing ‘poor-door’! Pro- or Con-?

      5. Since this very-tall building is “out of context” with most of the other near-by buildings, insist that the developers raise all those other buildings to a comparable height! Pro- or Con-?

      Be sure you have both a clearly-stated Topic Sentence and concluding sentence.

      And watch your grammar…and gran’ma!

      • A.C. says:

        Actually, your last point is actually logical, believe it or not. The whole neighborhood should be upzoned.

        • dannyboy says:

          Sounds like you’re trying to make some real money at your neighbors’ expense.

          Or do you even consider us “neighbors”?

    5. AC says:

      SJP has a bulls eye on their back. I can see local residents dialing 311 for every reason, whether legitimate or not. Hopefully, the developer has added some good amount of float into their schedule, because there will be lots of downtime.

      • Pedestrian says:

        Poor SJP such a victim! Application of the law is logical and appropriate. Unfortunately the City only believes in the law of the check book.

    6. Elisabeth Anderson says:

      Also they are required to put netting to catch falling debris, as per the Ruffa Victory Re: Olympic Tower. How many brilliant New Yorkers are even aware of that decision?

    7. Herb Bardavid says:

      Stop this building. It doesn’t fit the neighborhood.

    8. Jan says:

      Unfortunately, the UWS as we have known it, it doomed.
      Midtown and tall tall bldgs are creeping this way whether
      we like it or not.
      Not enough room in the schools now, our subways are
      dangerously overcrowded.
      How is the city going to accommodate all these people in
      all of the new buildings being built all over the city?

      • dannyboy says:

        I expect that AFTER the schools are completely broken, and the subways are completely broken, that we will hear outrage from our politicians that such things could be allowed to happen.

        Welcome to the political theater.

    9. William Raudenhush says:

      For those who think this is funny, or that the neighborhood residents are wrong to complain, I’d point out that 71 workers died in construction-related accidents in 2016, the last year for which full data was available. That’s up from 55 deaths in 2015 and the highest number of fatalities since 2002.

      The lack of a sidewalk shed is only one of several corners being cut and these are people’s mortality we are taking about here.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        thank you William for your work on this project.

        i don’t understand how not putting up a shed when the crane is ALREADY THERE could possibly be “just an oversight.” It seems to me to be Construction 101.

        it also seems like some people are willing to bend over backwards to give big developers every possible “benefit of the doubt”, but these same people jump at a moment’s notice at the people protesting this project. What is that all about?