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CODE BREAKERS: LendLease fined after carbon monoxide poisons workers

The New York City Department of Buildings released its August 2019 enforcement bulletin, which provides highlights of the agency’s actions to sanction and deter bad actors in the construction industry through the enforcement of safety laws and codes of conduct for construction professionals.
 
DOB took a number of major enforcement actions in August, including:

 ·         30 violations and $320,812 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal building alterations on four separate occasions.

·         23 violations and $187,624 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal transient use of buildings at five different locations. 

·         51 violations and $555,030 in penalties issued for failure to safeguard construction sites on 47 separate occasions. 

·         16 violations and $160,000 in penalties issued to 14 different individuals for failure to carry out duties as construction superintendents.

 
Below are individual enforcement highlights for August 2019:

Bronx

·         $361,600 in total penalties issued to 1058 Bronx LLC, the owner of 1058 University Avenue, Bronx, for a number of violations, including work without a permit, due to the illegal addition of seven single-room occupancy (SRO) units to a legal three-family home.

Brooklyn

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to Safety Registrant Bindela Construction, LLC, for failure to safeguard the public during the renovation of the lobby of 1355 East 18th Street, Brooklyn, due to holes in the floor and the removal of the ceiling and walls, without properly sealing the site to prevent access by tenants and the public.

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to Tracking Number Holder Gotham GC Corp., for failure to safeguard during work on a third-floor apartment located at 99 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, which resulted in a 2×4 going through the floor and through the ceiling of the bathroom in the second-floor apartment below.

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to Safety Registrant Archstone Builders LLC, for failure to safeguard workers during demolition of a building located at 30 Columbia Heights, where a roll-down gate fell and injured a worker.

·         $10,000 in penalties issued to Registered General Contractor Sunny Builders NY Corp., for failure to safeguard the pubic for lack of required pedestrian protections, flag person, and signage, while a boom truck was lifting sheetrock to the fourth floor of a building located at 272 Williams Avenue, Brooklyn.

·         $49,000 in total penalties issued to Qiao Fang Ye, the owner of 541 79th Street, Brooklyn, for the illegal conversion of a legal two-family home to an illegal four-family dwelling with the addition of illegal units on the first floor and in the cellar.

Manhattan

·         $25,000 in penalties issued to Safety Registrant Lendlease Construction for failure to conduct site-specific orientation for workers on a construction site located at 30 East 29th Street, Manhattan (pictured top), after nine workers collapsed in a sub-cellar due to carbon monoxide fumes from improper use of a gas generator. Currently under construction and ultimately rising over 600 feet, the new 45-story condominium building  is being developed by Rockefeller Group

·         $35,000 in total penalties issued to 30 West 57 St LLC, the owner of 28 West 57th Street, Manhattan, for failure to provide required protection for the public after filing an unsafe Façade Inspection Safety Report.

·         $6,250 in penalties issued to Kwok Wah House Condominium, the owner of 48 Hester Street, Manhattan, for failure to maintain the elevator, after failing to comply with six prior summons.

The Margaritaville Resort at 207 West 40th Street

·         $22, 500 in total penalties issued to Registered General Contractor Flintlock Construction Services LLC, for five violations related to site safety and failure to safeguard the public during concrete pouring on a construction site at 207 West 40th Street, Manhattan, where a pedestrian was injured when a pump line exploded. AKA The Margaritaville Resort, the development is a joint venture of  NY Soho Properties and Flintlock Construction .

·         $25,000 in penalties issued to Tracking Number Holder S&E Bridge and Scaffold LLC, for failure to safeguard the public after a pedestrian was injured during removal of a sidewalk shed at 300 Lafayette Street, Manhattan.

·         $26,000 in total penalties issued to First 177 Madison LLC, the owner of 177 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, for the illegal transient use of a Class A apartment.

·         $8,750 in total penalties issued to 653 Tenth Avenue LLC, the owner of 653 10th Avenue, Manhattan, for the illegal transient use of a Class A apartment. 

·         $4,687 in total penalties issued to 1199 Housing Corp., the owner of 420 111 Street, Manhattan, for the illegal transient use of a Class A apartment.

·         $6,250 in total penalties issued to Twenty One Grove St. Associates, the owner of 21 Grove Street, Manhattan, for the illegal transient use of a Class A apartment.

Queens

·         $193, 500 in total penalties issued to Lian Jie Li, the owner of 150-35 34th Avenue, Queens, for a number of violations, including work without a permit, site-safety issues, and occupancy contrary to the building’s Certificate of Occupancy (CO), due to the illegal addition of six SRO units to a legal single-family home.

·         $73,000 in total penalties issued to Salim Mansoor, the owner of 118-05 Atlantic Avenue, Queens, for work without a permit and occupancy contrary to the building’s CO for the illegal addition of four SRO units to a legal two-family home.

·         $67,000 in total penalties issued to Mohammad Chowdhury, the owner of 12-10 31st Drive, Queens, for the illegal addition of three SRO units to the second floor of a legal three-family home, and advertising the SRO units as short-term rentals on Airbnb.

·         $17,500 in total penalties issued to Registered General Contractor HY Design & Development LLC, for seven site-safety violations, including lack of required guardrails, improper storage of gas containers, inadequate housekeeping on a construction site located at 45-37 211th Street, Queens.

Staten Island

·         The owner of 135 Freeborn Street, Staten Island, was cited for illegal use of the property as a contractor’s yard and for junk, dead-vehicle, and commercial-vehicle storage. Prior to a hearing scheduled with OATH, the owner submitted evidence that the illegal use was discontinued, and the property will be monitored for compliance.

·         The owner of 4012 Richmond Road, Staten Island was cited for illegal use of the parking lot of the premises, which is accessory to a grocery store, for use as a U-Haul truck rental facility. The Department issued the owner a warning letter, and the illegal use was discontinued. The property will be monitored for compliance.

Construction and Design Professionals

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Registered Architect Rudolph Dupuy, the Department found multiple code non-compliances, including gas piping in a public stair enclosure, proposing parking that violates the Zoning Resolution and Building Code, proposing work under an Alteration Type 2 that requires an Alteration Type 1 for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, as well as inadequate egress issues. Dupuy agreed to a voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective August 1, 2019.

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Registered Architect Giovanni Zapata, the Department found multiple code non-compliances, including proposing conversion of a day care to a medical office under an Alteration Type 2, which requires an Alteration Type 1 for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, adding a story to a building under an Alteration Type 2, which requires an Alteration Type 1 for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, inadequate egress issues, inadequate fire stopping, Zoning Resolution floor area non-compliances, and various other violations of code an rules. Zapata agreed to a voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective August 15, 2019.

·         Following an audit of professionally certified applications submitted by Professional Engineer Nanik Massand, the Department found multiple code non-compliances, including proposing conversion of a multiple dwelling to a two-family home, as well as conversion of the cellar from storage to bedrooms, under an Alteration Type 2 Directive 14, which requires an Alteration Type 1 for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, proposing a bathroom and laundry room in the cellar of a building that is located below the flood elevation, inadequate egress issues, inadequate accessibility for persons with disabilities, and various other violations of code and rules. Massand agreed to voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 privileges, effective August 30, 2019.

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