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.