The one family home that was located at 640 West 238th Street was torn down to make way for an eight story apartment building. This new building is sandwiched in between on one side, four attached townhouses (of which the developer could only buy two), and a six story apartment building on the other side. In order to get the maximum use of the lot the windows on the A line of the six story building have been covered over (at the developers expense) or they would be facing a brick wall. When built the six story building went to the property line on the A line of the building never thinking that the one family house next door would be torn down for another building to be built. That is exactly what has happened as the developer of the eight story building is going to the property line on the lot. We have seen this happen all to often as greedy developers build taller buildings on sites that tower over the small houses they are next to.
On this blog I have chronicled the demolition of the one family house to the current six of eight stories that have been built. I can say as a neighbor of the building going up, and as a former Community Board 8 member that the developer has not been a good neighbor. There is an island which separates West 238th Street starting right in front of 640 West 238th Street. I have put up here photos of how the demolition trucks ran up onto the island, even with one driver smiling on the side of his truck which was sitting partly on the city owned island.
As for Community Board 8 the building plans were presented to the board while I was still a member, and my question was - What is going to be the impact to the neighborhood, and where will materials and equipment be stored since the site and street are to small to handle them. CB 8 Land Use Chair Charles Moerdler assured the neighbors that everything would be done or kept on the site of the construction. The developer agreed to that, but knew that he could not as the construction of the eight story building has been one long nightmare to those living around the construction site.
I personally have been cursed out by the site supervisor (pictured below) for my complaints to city agencies since the community board was worthless and did nothing. I had to call and write about the shortcutting that was going on, watch as the roadway was being ruined by the heavy metal cleated machinery used to clear the lot, and now the even heavier concrete trucks that deliver to the site.
However yesterday was the last straw. As I drove up Independence Avenue I saw the now seven or eight story concrete boom truck turned around over the building I live in. When getting home my daughter said that the boom was over the building and that there was a worker who ran up the fire escape to fix something on the boom, and then ran down the fire escape, which she said scared the hell out of her. Upon hearing this I went downstairs to ask the site supervisor who lied to my face that the boom was never over my building, and that no one had gone up or down my fire escape. To make matters worse as you will see in the other photos he told the boom operator to go down the wrong side of the Island. I asked where was the flag person that is required by law, he said he didn't need one. In the photo of the site supervisor you can also see water that apparently has come from the hydrant to clean at least one concrete truck in the street, and truck tire tracks on the side of the curb since it is a very narrow street.
Above - You can see the trail of concrete in the street, as well as truck tire marks on the side of the curb in front of the site supervisor who is trying to avoid being photographed.
Below - You can see only since I was at the site that workers are cleaning the street to try to wash away any remnants of concrete left in the street.
Above - I am standing on the sidewalk next to the site supervisor as the concrete boom truck is backing up to down the wrong side of the island into oncoming traffic with no flag person to direct it.
Below - As you can see a worker rushes to halt the concrete boom truck as it is backing up right where I am standing. There was no worker was helping this extremely large truck back up, and the site supervisor did nothing.
It appears that the concrete boom truck was able to go down the right side of the island after all. Look at the condition of the street from all the heavy demolition and construction vehicles.