Stalled Development in the 39th Council District

We need to make these sites into assets for the community. Many of these developments are causing real hazards for their neighbors, with fences falling down on sidewalks, loose construction debris that can become deadly in high winds, and unsecured sites that are dangerous for children and an invitation to squatting.

Help the effort to convert local blight to community benefit by providing feedback and tracking the progress of each site.
Leave comments below on a individual site to update us on the conditions. If you call 311 about an issue, please leave a complaint number in the comment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

455 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens

(between Luquer and Nelson Streets)

Project Type: Demolition / Development Site

Project Description: Demolition of warehouse; no known development plan

Status: Stalled Construction Site. Partial Stop Work Order in effect.

Background: The owners had planned to demolish an abandoned warehouse known as the Vichar/Abadhi warehouse, previously used by 47th Street Photo. In February 2009 multiple Stop Work Orders were issued due to the failure to provide a fence and overhead protection, the presence of flammable, combustible material during demolition, and the lack of an adequate site safety plan. The site was declared Stalled in April 2009, noting that the demolition was in progress. The site, which is adjacent to the Public Place development site, is contaminated due to prior industrial use. During the summer, the site was drilled for wells to remove oil contamination, while the partially demolished building continued to deteriorate.

In August 2009, major portions of the building collapsed. No one was injured, but parked vehicles were damaged by the falling debris, and asbestos dust was distributed. Demolition was expedited and debris removed. It was declared Stalled in October 2009. By the end of 2009, all demolition had been completed, the site was fenced, not graded.

Prior to any future use the land will have to be extensively remediated under New York State Department of Environmental Conservation supervision. There are no imminent development plans.


  1. This site may have Manufactured Gas Plant coal tar in its sub surface, which can cost 10's of millions to remediate. Likely a lot of other toxic material as well. National Grid would be liable for this.

    What about the site next door? It is called "Public Place" and under the jurisidiction of HPD. There was a design RFP several years ago to build residential towers and a small waterfront park but it seems to have stalled out because the City can't/won't move the Ferrara Brothers concrete facility of the property even though they are on a terminable lease. There was a public hearing and everything on this last year. Public Place is definately contaminated with coal tar and will cost at least $25M for Nat'l Grid to clean.

  2. The building at 318 19th street (bet 6 and 7) is falling down and the building department is doing nothing to take it down. The building is collapsing and will fall down and take out the other buildings.