Hey Lower East Siders, remember when the block of Orchard Street between Houston and Stanton Streets looked like this? Probably not, because if you live on the LES, you probably arrived in the past two years (24 months being the maximum amount of time one can live in the post-millennial LES without being driven absolutely insane). It has been four years since the razing of those storefronts for a rumored 20+ story hotel or condo building, and in the time since, numerous delays?combined with the construction of the Thompson LES across the street?have turned this section of Orchard Street into what looks like a war zone. The spot did get some screen time, however, in You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Today, the structure is finally visible at street level, but a stop work order was slapped on the property in May. Now LOCO, the organization that once planned a human chain on the LES to protest rampant development, is determined to finally kill this project. And the battle begins tonight!
An e-mail making the rounds from LOCO reads:
Well, after all these years of extreme noise, accidents, work starting at 6:30 am (and going on on weekends and holidays), seeing foundations poured in the sleet and snow, seeing the buildings next to the site form cracks and held up by braces, union picketing of the site, and foot traffic all but destroyed for businesses on the street - - finally, FINALLY, the site gets shut down. Why? We don't know - - but coincidentally, it happened within weeks of the two cranes collapsing, when a NY Post reporter started working on a story about the building. He called many of us in the neighborhood saying he had a tip that this proposed 26 STORY PART-HOTEL, PART CONDO had obtained their air rights less-than-legally.Fans of hipster migration patterns of the present and future should head to 333 Bowery at 6:30pm to catch the fireworks.
The story never came out in the NY Post, but the site has remained shut down for 5 weeks since his inquiries started. Now, workers have been seen dismantling the scaffolding. One worker told residents that the concrete used was "substandard and what was built so far was now being dismantled." Another foreman at one of the projects on Ludlow Street said he heard there were "problems with the buildings application and the height of the building was now in question and being re-examined."
The building is on the next Community Board 3 Housing Committee agenda - - this coming TUESDAY. It is really important if you have been affected by this construction nightmare to come out to this meeting. The head of the CB3 Housing Committee has asked the Department of Buildings to come and address us so we can know after 5 years of this, what is going on. So far, the D.O.B has said they "don't have to come." We think they do.
· Property Profile Overview: 180 Orchard Street [DOB]