NYCDOB reports dozens of violations, penalties in October

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NYDOB padlocked this property after finding an illegal contractor’s yard and commercial vehicle storage on a residential property at 104-10 Rockaway Boulevard, Queens.

New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) has released its October 2018 Enforcement Bulletin, which provides highlights of the agency’s actions “to sanction and deter bad actors in the construction industry through the enforcement of safety laws and codes of conduct for construction professionals.”

The bulletin released on Nov. 30 includes summaries of DOB-imposed disciplinary actions, including penalties and license suspensions and revocations.

The actions below represent a portion of DOB’s overall work to enforce the city’s building codes and safety laws, in addition to the thousands of inspections conducted and violations issued by the agency each month for illegal building and construction conditions.

DOB took a number of major enforcement actions in October, including:

  • A total of 10 violations and $206,000 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal building alterations on 5 separate occasions;
  • A total of 31 violations and $286,900 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal transient use of buildings at 9 different locations;
  • 39 violations and $465,000 in penalties issued for failure to safeguard construction sites on 34 separate occasions; and
  • 14 violations and $140,000 in penalties issued to 13 different individuals for failure to carry out duties as construction superintendents.

Below are individual enforcement highlights for October 2018:

$25,000 in penalties issued to registered general contractor Central Builders Development at 33-02 30th Ave., Queens, for a failure to safeguard their construction site, after a worker who was smoothing poured concrete fell 12 feet from the first floor to the basement. DOB inspectors determined that there was no safety netting or fall protection system in place where the worker was at the time of the fall.

$25,000 in penalties issued to contractor Sun Run Installation at 94-22 50th Ave., Queens, after a worker who was installing solar panels fell from the roof and fell to his death.

$25,000 in penalties issued to safety registrant Related Construction LLC at 555 West 22nd St., Manhattan, for a failure to safeguard their construction site, after a hydraulic line was cut, spewing fluid onto the public sidewalk. The contractor had failed to install a protective barrier to protect pedestrians, as was required and noted on their approved plans.

$15,250 in penalties issued to registered general contractor Vice Contracting LLC, at 851 East 217th St., Bronx for various safety issued found on an active construction site, including not having the approved plans available on site, the site being open and unguarded to the public, excavation work underway without prior notification to DOB, lacking guard rails around the excavation, and creating an unsafe angle for the excavation walls.

$10,000 in penalties issued to registered general contractor M-AZAD Construction Inc., at 684 Madison St., Brooklyn, for a failure to safeguard their construction site, after it was determined that no overhead protection had been installed from the construction fence to the entrance of the building.

$10,000 in penalties issued to contractor Surjeet Singh, at 91-22 175th St., Queens, for a failure to safeguard their construction site, a new building project at the location. The site was missing guard rails around floor openings in the building, and the staircases contained excessive construction debris.

$10,000 in penalties issued to contractor Universal Builders Supply, at 1 Wall St., Manhattan, for a failure to safeguard their construction site, after a worker assisting scaffold installation was injured on the 28th floor, and it was determined that no “tool box talks” had been held prior.

$50,000 in penalties issued to The George Units LLC, the owners of 111 Wadsworth Ave,, 1361 St. Nicholas Ave., 1370 St. Nicholas Avenue and 260 Audubon Ave., Manhattan, for failure to provide the appropriate safety measures to protect the public from the building’s unsafe façades.

$12,500 in penalties issued to Stephanie Silveira, the owner of 95 Beechwood Place, Staten Island, for a failure to maintain her property. A parapet wall on top of the building was in a state of disrepair, leaning inward, and in danger of possible collapse.

$12,500 in penalties issued to 102 101St LLC, the owners of 102-17 101st Ave., Queens, for a failure to maintain their property. The rear exterior wall of the building was in a state of disrepair, and brick masonry at the location partially collapsed from the building.

$10,000 in penalties issued to 600 West 146 LLC, the owners of 600 West 146th St., Manhattan, for failure to provide the appropriate safety measures to protect the public from the building’s unsafe façade.

$12,800 in penalties issued to The Colonade Condominium c/o Maxwell Kates, Inc., the owners of 347 West 57th St., Manhattan, for several zoning violations related to their privately owned public space (POPS). They were missing required signage indicating that the plaza was open to the public, a 20 foot long illuminated marquee had been installed without DOB approval or permits, and metal spike strips had been installed around tree planters in the POPS that obstructed required seating in the plaza.

$4,000 in penalties issued to Bel Canto Condominium Association, the owners of 1991 Broadway, Manhattan, for failure to have the required amenities for their privately owned public space (POPS). The public space was missing the required number of tables, chairs and trees, as stipulated in the POPS agreement.

$4,000 in penalties issued to Vanderbilt Condo. c/o Rose Associates, the owners of 235 East 40th St., Manhattan, for failure to have the required amenities for their privately owned public space (POPS). The public space was missing the required number of bicycle parking spaces, and metal spike strips had been installed around tree planters in the POPS, obstructing the required seating.

$10,000 in penalties issued to construction superintendent Ilan Peleg of WCC Builders LLC for failure to perform his required duties at a job site at 851 East 217th St., Bronx, including failing produce the required log entry book to DOB inspectors.

$112,000 in penalties issued to property owner Choi Kin Li for converting a legal two-family home at 1118 65th St,, Brooklyn into an illegal six-family home, by constructing four additional apartments in the cellar, first floor and second floor.

$49,100 in penalties issued to property owner Nitol Realty LLC for converting a legal two-family home at 148-52 87th Rd., Queens, into an illegal four-family home, by constructing two apartments in the cellar without DOB permits.

$48,000 in penalties issued to property owner BK Properties Four LLC for converting one of the units at 142-01 41st Ave., Queens, a six-story apartment building, into three illegal single room occupancies (SRO).

$41,000 in penalties issued to property owner Joseph Pernice, Jr. for converting a legal two-family home at 67 Sherman Ave., Staten Island, into an illegal four-family home by constructing two single room occupancies (SRO).

$38,100 in penalties issued to property owner Mohammed A. Alshaman for converting a legal two-family home at 143-25 84th Ave., Queens, into an illegal four-family home, by constructing two apartments on the first floor and in the cellar without DOB permits.

$81,250 in penalties issued to property owner 324 East 14 St. LLC for the illegal transient of an apartment at 324 East 14th St., Manhattan, that was being rented out on Airbnb. Violations were also issued for illegal work without a permit, and safety issues found in the apartment.

$27,875 in penalties issued to property owner Highpoint Associates XII LLC for the illegal transient use of an apartment, and several safety violations, at a 410 West 46th St., Manhattan.

$25,000 in penalties issued to property owner West 48 Holdings LLC for the illegal transient use of an apartment at 439 West 48th St., Manhattan, that was being rented out on Airbnb.

Following actions taken by the Department, including a criminal court summons and fines, the department was able to gain compliance from Aikens Apartments HDFC and Jeffrey Dunston, property owners of 676 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, to repair a nonfunctional elevator and restore it to safe working service. This six-story, 21-unit apartment building was previously on DOB’s Top Elevator Offender list.

Following actions taken by the department, including a criminal court summons and fines, the DOB was able to gain compliance from 517-525 West 45 LLC and Naim Offir, property owners of 521 West 45th St., Manhattan, to repair a nonfunctional elevator and restore it to safe working service. This five-story, mixed-use loft building was previously on DOB’s Top Elevator Offender list.

Following actions taken by the department, including a criminal court summons and fines, the department was able to gain compliance from Zamzam Realty Inc. and Muhammad Shahid, the property owners of 260 Lenox Ave., Manhattan, to repair the building’s façade

Following audits of the professionally certified applications submitted to the Department by Mohammad Alauddin, P.E. and Wayne Clarke P.E., and findings that the applications submitted by these two individuals contained multiple code non-compliances, the Department accepted the voluntary surrender of their professional certification and Directive 14 privileges.

Other penalties include:

  • $5,000 in penalties issued to contractor JN Construction Inc. for advertising services in NYC, while falsely claiming they had a DOB-issued Master Plumber’s license. The contractor does not have a Master Plumber’s license in NYC. The ads have since been removed.
  • $5,000 in penalties ad a probationary period of one year was issued to Master Electrician Adam Kopp for failure to pay prevailing wages to his employees.
  • $3,500 in penalties and a probationary period of 18 months was issued to Master Electrician Bill LeComples for allowing non-employees to perform electrical work and for failing to have a required sign at his place of business.

A one year license suspension was issued to hoist machine operator Delroy Danvers for operating a crane that was set up contrary to DOB approved plans, operating a crane with a damaged cable, failure to maintain proper daily and monthly logs for the crane, and for failure to cooperate with Department personnel.

The department revoked the license of fire suppression contractor Everton Howell, after Howell failed to cooperate with a department investigation, and was found to be negligent, incompetent, lacked knowledge of, or disregarded applicable laws and rules, in not appearing for scheduled interviews, and for failing to have an established place of business in New York City.

The department accepted the voluntary surrender of a construction superintendent registration from Alexander Kogan, after Kogan was convicted of filing false reports to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Following the issuance of warning letters from the department for an illegal contractor’s yard and commercial vehicle storage on a residential property at 104-10 Rockaway Blvd., Queens, and non-compliance with orders to revert the property back to its prior legal condition, the property was padlocked.

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