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On firm footing: Effort to save Little Italy building begins

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A landlord is pouring it on — concrete that is — to keep a historic Little Italy building from being demolished.

On Monday, contractors pumped 14 mixer trucks’ worth of slurry-like concrete into the basement of 188 Grand St., at the corner of Mulberry St. The plan is that the liquid concrete will spread out and fill the space, firmly “cementing it all together.”

The concrete — which was pumped in from the trucks through a hose — is meant to firm up and stabilize the building, which was weakened by the unauthorized renovation work. (Courtesy Andrew Bench)

According to the Department of Buildings and landlord Stabile Realty, a new restaurant tenant was doing illegal and unauthorized renovations in the property’s basement, causing an old, cemented-up chimney to collapse on Jan. 10. D.O.B. initially ruled that the building must come down in an emergency demolition. But, a few days later, Stabile convinced D.O.B. to accept its plan to try to stabilize and save the building.

Monday’s pour went “great,” according to Andrew Bench, a principal of Stabile Realty. The 18-inch-thick layer of concrete takes about three to four days to cure.

The slurry was designed to fill all the voids in the basement. (Courtesy Andrew Bench)

As for what comes next, Bench said, “Temporary shoring will be [put] in place from the foundation floor up to the roof. That shoring will take the weight of the interior floors off the damaged exterior masonry wall, which will make it safe to repair that wall.”

The first floor was used as a staging area for the daylong concrete pour. (Courtesy Andrew Bench)

Until last March, the building’s ground floor storefront was home to Alleva Dairy, the nation’s oldest cheese shop. The place’s upper floors are leased out for use as co-working space.

One Comment

  1. I-----m I-----m January 26, 2024

    fantastic! positive progress!

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