We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In Violation Of Law And Common Sense

These are photos of work being done on a cement awning over the entrance to 120 East 4th St. taken by a tenant who lives there. I quote that tenant here, "The DOB (NYC Dept. of Buildings) has done nothing to curtail the likes of Ben Shaoul, with, out in the open violations, and a pattern of endangering human beings in the name of a quick profit. Shame on Magnum Real Estate Group, Fortune East, and Ben Shaoul, but shame on the DOB as well".
The worker was perched up on the narrow awning drilling without any form of protection like a harness.
The man working beneath had no protective gear. No hard hat. 
"The worker spoke no English, and when I asked that he be more careful and get better placed, he waved, smiling, not understanding anything I was saying, back to drilling as fast as he could".
Another tenant said "the worker jackhammering on the awning he was standing on, did fall and hurt himself". There was no permit for this work.

This is the entrance before the jackhammer.

This is the new awning.
This large metal structure is held in place by 4 small screws, 2 of which are in the mortar between the bricks. Image what will happen after a couple of winters of freezing, thawing, and a heavy snow. Any engineers out there with any thoughts regarding this?

This is looking up through the glass. Think of all the icicles forming on the fire escape, and falling 5 stories onto the glass. It is collecting dirt and debris. Presently there is no way of cleaning it. 


  1. The workers didn't speak English. You know that means they were undocumented. Not to get all Republican but I'm betting all the workers were undocumented. That way the corporate greedy Real Estate bastards don't have to pay them anything, and they turn a blind eye to any illegal goings on. If one of em gets hurt, the corporate bastards don't take any responsibility, they just get rid of them. Disposable human beings.

    1. Yes, anonymous, I think they most likely are not documented, the same at most all of Magnum's sites, throughout the city, for over a decade. I know many of these men shift from one of their buildings to the next. And naturally, DOB and city have not cared to look into documentation. As with the Crane incident on 51st (which was connected to this convoluted management and other incidents, they TALK about strengthening regulations and oversight after people have died. Well, there hasn't been any of that on this site.

      In the case of this Chinese worker falling and being hurt, he is never seen again. Do you think he got workers comp?

      For over a year now,
      Most all workers have no protective equipment, no masks in dust or fumes, no goggles when using saws or sanders, or washers, no ear gear when jackhammering (with permits stating specifically "No Jackhammering" .... But this is not isolated to our building. It has been going on for years with Magnum/Fortune East, Ben, etc. Obviously, the Unions are too weakened to involve themselves in protest, and city officials have been looking the other way. It's all pervasive. This corruption is supporting such behavior of out of balance profiteering landlords.

      I'd love management to show us if the plumers and electricians who've been messing up, doing and redoing in our halls and homes, have any official licenses.
      Let's bring the workers we identify before a court and see the validity of their licensure. It's hard to believe the work is done by professionals. It's as cheap as it gets, and endangering.

      These laborors/workers are good people, and they work hard, but many unskilled, doing what they are told... they need the money to care for families. They will do anything, including jackhammering a ledge they are standing on without anything to hold on to, nor hold them steady.

      I don't know what they get paid. After getting to know some I asked if they make minimum wage... in Spanish, the shook their heads, "very little, very little." But it's something to feed a child somewhere. Bless them. For a number of us in the building, seeing their poor circumstances for over a year, in hot and cold... makes us very sympathetic toward them. While the Management rakes in untold wealth, these guys lives are endangered, and they can barely survive on what they make... especially since they are building Luxury dwellings for this city.

  2. Building or Architectural Engineer!

    Does any one know an engineer who would be so kind to help, and comment on this new awning. It juts out about 3 feet, and about 4 feet long. the beam was just placed on, and only rests on the building wall, it is not secured within it to carry the awning weight. This thin pipe with four screws, 2 of the screws in mortar... We have not located and permit for it, nor an approved diagram. Our question is, with ice buildup and snow, which could amount to a couple hundred pounds on some occasions, and wind... with water freezing around the screws.... over time, perhaps a couple years....
    is this a design worthy of approval in your profession?
    This is our only entrance way, used constantly, often. Is it safe as years go on? Much appreciate any thoughts, or how to verify.

    1. Make that about 6 feet long...

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