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August 11, 2011

The mysteries of after-hours work at the arena site: do people live nearby? (yes, but most permits say "no") and what's the rationale? (not made public)

Atlantic Yards Report

Since February, contractors at the Atlantic Yards arena block have 36 times gained after-hours variance (AHV) permits for work at the Atlantic Yards arena block, according to documents available via the Department of Buildings (DOB) web site.

Nine of those instances regarded weekday work that began early or went to a second shift, and 27 regarded weekend work. No 24-hour variance has been granted yet, though the July 18 Construction Update, prepared by developer Forest City Ratner and issued by the Empire State Development Corporation, suggested one might be sought.

Lingering questions

According to the online versions of those permits--the site is known as 620 Atlantic Avenue or 2-6 Fifth Avenue--two things stood out:

  • Arena builder Hunt Construction, more than three-quarters of the time, apparently stated that there were no residences within 200 feet of the site. (Yes, there are--see photo below by Tracy Collins, looking west from the corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue. As discussed below, Hunt asserts that the permits it files always acknowledge there are residences within 200 feet. Without seeing the original documents, that statement will remain a question mark.)
  • No rationale for the after-hours work was publicly provided. Yes, applications to the DOB must contain such a rationale, but apparently the DOB does not make that information public.

I tried to learn more, but didn't get too far.

Click the link to follow Norman Oder down the rabbit hole of the Department of Buildings.


NoLandGrab: Since every one of the few applications that actually disclosed the proximity of nearby residences was granted anyway, why does the DOB bother to ask?

Posted by eric at August 11, 2011 10:00 AM