Late-Night Construction in Brooklyn Heights

This from a BHB reader:

This picture depicts the scene at the corner of Pierrepont & Willow Streets at 10pm last night.

The workers were approached by numerous people and asked to stop putting up the scaffolding. They refused, saying they had to finish the job and work through the night.

It is unclear who is running this construction site. Repeated calls were placed to 311 and the 84th precinct, who said crime comes before noise. Eventually, at around 11pm, the ruckus, which had been going on since the early evening, ceased–but not after one of the lovely workers basically threw a wooden plank on the street, angry that residents were coming out to demand they be quiet. The workers were jumping around on the scaffolding, dropping poles, drilling, and basically trying to make as much noise as possible. While some higher power must have eventually intervened to make them stop, the question of what will happen tonight remains.

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  • Jazz

    I drove by these guys last night. They were blocking the street and had a truly surly vibe.

  • Matthew Parker

    I live right next door to this scaffolding construction site. They started working at exactly 6pm yesterday and indeed were making a huge amount of noise, which is expected when installing scaffolding. Approximately 10 workers had gathered at the corner about an hour beforehand, but apparently they were waiting for the truck with the scaffolding material to arrive before they started working. I commented to my wife when I returned home at around 9pm that they seemed to be working too late and loud noise could be heard from at least 2 blocks away as I approached.

    There’s a sign in front of the house indicating that Rahman Construction is working on the house that had the scaffolding installed; however, there’s no indication that the men working on the scaffolding installation were hired by Rahman. Sometimes/often the scaffolding company is completely different from the primary contractor.

    When I went to walk the dog this morning at around 8am, a few workers were installing the electric lights underneath the scaffolding.

  • T.K. Small

    I drove by the truck shortly after they arrived and could barely get by, which was about 6:45. It was amazing how much of a racket they were making. My computer is completely voice controlled and I had to close my windows because the noise was interfering with the software.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    Totally illegal, no construction is allowed past 6 pm. Unless there is an emergency situation, such as parts of the building are falling off. In future situations, call 311 and report it to the Department of Buildings.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Why didn’t anyone register a complaint?
    I went online to register a complaint with 311 because
    according to the 311 website 6PM is the cutoff for construction noise. I needed the correct address which I did not have so I gave up on it altogether.
    Someone told me that even if one brick falls off a building, a permit can be issued and scaffolding can be erected. So, maybe this was an emergency situation. I was so angry at the noise that my blood pressure went up even higher than usual!!!
    I cannot imagine what the noise must have been like for people with children who were trying to get some much needed shuteye – the parents and the children!

  • Knight

    Matthew: if Rahman is listed as the primary contractor they are responsible for everything that happens at the site, whether any particular workers are their employees or not. If anything goes wrong or information is needed, they are the ones to contact (besides 311).

  • harumph

    Rahman is the worst – can’t stand that company and those that run it…

  • Cranberry Beret

    There was a patrol car on scene around 10:30pm.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Sorry, everyone, I just now read the entire story and people did call 311 and the 84th precinct. If we can get no satisfaction from them, what recourse do we have if this happens again?

  • lori

    The number of the building is 25 Pierrepont Street. That building has always been a problem in one way or another. It has changed hands several times in the past few years. I was sent the specs by Marcus & Millichap two years ago, but knew the building had too many problems to bother with it.

  • spm

    I was there about 10:00 pm when they started on the construction of the scaffolding. I asked what they were doing there, working at that hour and was ignored. I asked for the forreman who said they had permission. I said “Really? Because construction in this neighborhood has to cease at 6pm.” He ignored me and turned back to work. I then said I would contact the police to which he said go ahead. The police arrived about 10:15 pm to a crowd on the corner and asked the foreman for his permit. The foreman showed him the permit which was issued by the Department of Buildings who was contacted by the buildings owner yesterday afternoon I believe. The contractor had obtained a special injunction to work at that time as there was indicated a danger in that pieces of the building’s cornices/roof shingles were falling on the sidewalk and needed to be repaired at once and were a danger to passers-by. The police officers’ hands were tied as the workmen did have permission from the DOB. That being said, I spoke to a woman from the building who said stuff was falling before and there was a big leak that happened after Irene. The building owners had just chnaged hands and she wasn’t sure who to contact. Regardless of this, the DOB came by at 5pm but why they waited until then is beyond me. There was no signage last night or permits posted. But anyway, that’s the information I gathered yesterday evening.

  • M on Willow

    At it again tonight … initiated at around 6 — why can’t they do this work by day? I filed a 311 complaint immediately last night.

  • stuart

    it sounds like the buildings department may have issued an immediate emergency violation.

  • stuart

    Many of the rental buildings with old time tenants are operated at near break even basis so the owners neglect them. There is no profit motive for them to maintain the premises. The DOB tries to enforce safety regulations but it does so unevenly. Some owners are mysteriously immune to city fines.

  • BH’er

    Did anyone notice how they mounted the Stop sign? Doesn’t look very secure to me…. it will probably clank in the wind all night and eventually fall onto a nearby car…. better watch out!

  • http://blog.samgreenfield.com Sam Greenfield

    You can check out DOB for more info. Search for 25 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn on http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/bis/bis.shtml
    [Use this site if the links below stop working]

    Here is the main page:
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=3&houseno=25&street=Pierrepont+Street&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E

    Here are the complaints (including the ones from yesterday):
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ComplaintsByAddressServlet?requestid=1&allbin=3001728

    For what it’s worth, it doesn’t appear that an after hours variance has been issued:
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/AHVPermitsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=1&allkey=3001728&fillerdata=A

    There does appear to be a permit for installing electrical wiring on the sidewalk shed, but I couldn’t find a permit for the shed itself (doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist–just that I couldn’t find it):
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ELInspectionWorkOrderServlet?requestid=3&allcontrolnumber=B345056
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PrintElecPermit/B345056.pdf?allcontrolnumber=B345056&requestid=4
    The electrical permit also has the name of the scaffolding company.

  • stuart

    The DOB site is not a user-friendly site. you gotta have the decoder ring.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    The variance permits usually don’t show up on the BIS (Building Information System), only the work permits and violations.

  • Judy

    There should be a stop work order issued to 25 Pierrepont Street. At the minimum, the scaffold company’s name and license should be posted. We need to be concerned about the safety of any scaffold put up literally in the dark of night, and people should keep on reporting this to 311 until permits are seen posted on the property. As of tonight there are none. I’ve reported this to LPC hoping for some inter-agency coordination, as I am unfamiliar with the owners’ reputability and cannot contact them. It’s best not to walk near the scaffold until there is evidence that the DOB deems it to be a safe worksite.

  • stuart

    my guess is that these owners are not used to being told what to do by city regulatory agencies.

  • GHB

    Maybe they’ll fix their damn sidewalk while they’re at it!

  • Matthew Parker

    The scaffolding company’s name printed on the side of the truck at the work site this evening is:

    Everest Scaffolding
    1150 Longwood Avenue
    Bronx, NY 10455
    718-328-1004

  • Gerry

    This building may collapse just like the one on Clark Street did a while back in fact this building and Clark Street had the same owner at one time a guy who was buying deralict buildings in Brooklyn Heights attempting to turn them around while breaking ALL of the rules at DOB, DCHR, etc.

    This is another disaster about to happen

  • Judy

    I’ve talked with the DOB to learn that 311 callers reporting “falling debris” from 25 Pierrepont Street prompted the Department of Buildings to notify HPD which is the city agency with the authority to order a sidewalk shed (in the public’s interest) and to bill the property owner. Questions remain as to whether and when the owner will file any applications with the DOB and the LPC to make needed facade repairs. There are tenants, so this house is not abandoned, and there is a custodian. Too many calls to 311 could end badly and unintentionally for this pretty (albeit not- lovingly- cared-for) building. Note: 100 Clark did not collapse, 311 calls on a holiday weekend, brought out an HPD ordered demolition crew. In that instance, the upper walls were reportedly pulling away from the floor joists. Owners were contacted at the 11th hour and shored it up. A new buyer acquired it but…..look at it now. Fast forward to 25 Pierrepont Street: my wish is for this building to remain standing so that it finds its way into the hands of somebody capable of renovating it.

  • Gerry

    @ Judy,

    Thanks for the stoy behind 100 Clark Street that landlord also owns 25 Pierrepont Street or at least he did a few years ago in this market I doubt that he could unload it. The landlord ignores most City agenices and laws.