BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | A partial collapse of a pizzeria’s shared basement wall Friday afternoon caused the building, on the border of Chelsea and Greenwich Village, to shake and vibrate, resulting in the emergency evacuation of it and neighboring buildings.
Early Saturday evening, workers could be seen erecting a plywood construction fence around the northwest corner of 14th Street and Seventh Avenue. The emerging fence was laid out to take up around half the sidewalk’s width and was also going to close off the subway entrance/exit at that corner for the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 trains.
A bystander who was watching the scene and said he worked in a buildling two blocks north said the problem happened around 4 p.m. Friday. He said some of the older upstairs residential tenants had been evacuated to a Brooklyn Red Cross shelter, which he noted disapprovingly is “far” for them.
One of the workers putting up the fence explained, as he gestured toward the pizza place, that a basement wall on the site’s western side had collapsed. But he stated the buildings would not have to be demolished. Asked how long the repairs would take, he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know.
The site is comprised of a number of small buildings, including 201 and 203 W. 14th St. and 64, 66A and 66 Seventh Ave. Affected stores, which have also been vacated by the emergency, include the Donut Pub, PizzaNY, MomenTea / Pokemoment and a nail salon and spa. By Friday evening, a full scaffolding and fence had already been erected in front of the Donut Pub building, at 203 W. 14th St.
The Buildings Department’s Web site records a “complaint” for 201 W. 14th St. on Friday at 4:39 p.m. related to the wall collapse, noting, though, that it had subsequently been “resolved.” The site says the “structural stability” of a party wall — meaning a wall shared by two buildings — was “compromised.”
“Building shaking/vibrating/stuct [sic] stability affected,” the D.O.B. site says of the original complaint. “Partial collapse of shared rubble foundation wall rendering premises unsafe to occupy.”
A full-vacate order was issued, according to D.O.B.
The owner of 201 W. 14th St. is listed as Mardan Realty Co., LLC.
The D.O.B. site also contains an “open” violation for the same property from Sept. 30, with an agency inspector noting, “Failure to maintain building in code… . I observed in the basement in the Pizza NY store having an open sewer line. Repair and/or replace.” The balance due on the violation fine is listed as $625.
From what I understand from a tenant posting in NEXTdoor Neighbors, the tenants had little time to gather just a few belongings. This particular resident wrote they had been given 3-day vouchers from Red Cross to stay in motels. The one she was assigned to was in Queens, in a very remote location (and kind of “iffy”). At this point, they have no certainty. Has Eric Bottcher’s office become involved? How many residents are impacted?
Residents should not be placed in Queens.
The City should be prioritizing emergency hotel accommodations for tenants.
The city does nothing for you. It’s the red cross that pays. They give you 3 days, after that you are on your own. Some tenants were told they coukd be out of their apartments for 6 months at least.
Yes, the City left the residents homeless with currently no resolution for living arrangements. Tenants’ possessions are in their apartments with no resolution as to when they can even get their clothes. There has been no help from the City. Red Cross helped over the weekend but the tenants are currently abandoned by their landlords as well.
Too bad these tenants didn’t get the same hookup Mayor Adams gave to asylum seekers at his soon-to-be-condemned Tent City on Randalls Island as he put them in a fancy hotel in Hell’s Kitchen.