By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Representatives from CW Capital and CompassRock said that they hope to have the major construction on the new management office finished by this May at a meeting with the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association on Tuesday evening.
The new management office is planned for the space between Playground 8 and the buildings at 272, 274, 276 and 278 First Avenue along the First Avenue Loop and construction officially began on January 22.
The meeting, held at P.S. 40 on East 19th Street, was held to answer questions about the construction of the new office because residents have said they’ve been unable to find any information about the project, such as what the plans for the new building are, how much of a disturbance construction will be and when the structure is expected to be completed.
One of the biggest concerns expressed at the meeting was the timeline for the project and Clare Hackney, the Vice President of CompassRock, said that the best estimate they have for completion at the moment is August. Residents expressed concerns at the meeting about the loss of Playground 8, which has been closed because of the construction, for the entire summer but the representatives noted that they’re hoping to reopen the playground by May.
At the meeting on Tuesday, Hackney said that the original completion date for the whole project was supposed to be May, but the Department of Buildings process for obtaining the proper permits took longer than expected. She added that the bad weather and the fact that they have elected not to work on Saturdays also pushed back the date.
The Tenants Association hosted a meeting about the project last October that was attended by CW Capital and CompassRock but the conversation has been picking up speed again since work actually began in January and residents haven’t received any updates on it since that meeting in the fall.
The Department of Buildings recently conducted an audit on the site as the result of a letter sent at the end of January by City Councilmember Dan Garodnick, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, reviewing zoning, open space, height and planned use.
Steven Figueiredo from the Department of Buildings was at the meeting and said that the DOB didn’t have any objections to the proposed work so the application remains approved.
Councilmember Garodnick was at the meeting and noted that while the need for a new management office is understandable, any kind of construction around where people live is disruptive and he requested more information through multiple channels going forward.
“It’s important for them to share information about the project,” Garodnick said following the meeting. “That was clearly one of the biggest concerns, the absence of information on it. They explained the plans much more clearly than they have before, but we shouldn’t have to get information only through these formal settings.”
Andrew Kane of CW Capital said that updates are now being posted in individual buildings and that work starts at around 8:30 a.m. during the week. While they are trying to push all their work to during the week, weekend work is sometimes unavoidable, said Kane.
He added that unexpected weekend work could occur if a storm, for example, threatens to push the project back even further.
Some residents at the meeting noted that they were hearing trucks idling long before the designated start time. Kane said that there shouldn’t be any work going on too early in the morning but if residents have any complaints, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org and Hackney said that they would look into this specific issue.