Quicklink: 981 Manhattan Is For Sale!

rains9162015SC

This tome was brought to my attention by my buddy over at Queens Crap. As you can imagine, gentle readers, I found it quite fascinating— but not exactly for the reasons one would (normally, presumably) think. You see, I spent a nice part of my morning dealing with 311 operators and actually making a trip to the local ladder company. I noticed something and quite frankly I found it disturbing. Read on, folks, as I suspect you will too.

Before I continue I want to direct attention to a photo I took of 981 Manhattan (and its neighbor, 977 Manhattan) on July 3rd.

977981july32015 nys

I was out of town from June 24th through June 30th. However, a concerned citizen brought it to my attention that while I was gone our Bravest paid 977 and 981 Manhattan a visit, inspected both properties thoroughly and, before departing, marked both buildings (as you see above).

What do these marks mean, you ask? Well, it is my understanding they indicate hazards within said building(s), say, a missing floor, stairs, etc., the FDNY should be aware of in the event they are called to fight a fire therein. Sounds kind of important, yes?

Now let’s jump to the photo I took when the for sale was being affixed to 981 Manhattan. This came to pass on the evening of September 14, 2015.

981september142015 nys

A rather interesting choice of placement, yes? Especially when one considers what I noticed this morning, September 16th.

981September162015 nys

The remainder of the FDNY’s “sign” has been painted over altogether has vanished! (See comments). This of course begs a number of questions. Thefirst and foremost one on my mind is:

Was this sanctioned by the FDNY?

To this end I called 311. It took about ten minutes and a couple of operators but I finally got the previous concerns across. I was advised to go in person to my local ladder company— and I did. Alas, they were out on some training/work-related exercise today. I was told by the fellow present (who did not appear to be very happy about my “discovery”) that I am to call the ladder officer tomorrow (September 17th) and bring this to his (?) attention.

On a lark, I decided to do a walk-by of the Salvation Army and see if one hazard (I am guessing) the FDNY spied during their inspection had been remediated: the lack of stairs between the first and second floors. My thinking was that, perhaps, if it was the removal of the FDNY’s sign would be “legit”. Here’s what I found:

981 Manhattan Avenue entrance to residential part of building 9162015 cropped nys

Nothing has changed. The only means of ingress and egress to and from the second floor is a ladder. Now let’s take a look at a particularly compelling passage from the above-linked Crain’s item:

…The nonprofit recently put the site at 981 Manhattan Ave., between India and Huron streets, up for sale. It has owned the three-story building since 1973. Earlier this year, the ground-floor retail shop suffered a fire and flood, according to a Salvation Army spokesman. The benefits of closing and selling the 3,000-square-foot building, which is in a trendy neighborhood growing in popularity with residents, outweighed the financial cost to fix it up, he said.

“It’s a big deal to do renovations,” he said, noting that the shop will close by the end of September. The two floors above the shop are residential. “We were constantly evaluating, as any business would do, our expenses versus the income…”

Complaint 3522940 Salvatuin Army nys

Here’s the deal, folks: I am rather surprised the Crain’s reporter did not catch one interesting detail. One which has been reported elsewhere. A simple web search and “point and click” would have revealed it. One need not have seen it in person (although I have).

977parcel nys 600

977 Manhattan Avenue wraps around 981 Manhattan on two sides (as I have indicated above). In fact, the 977 Manhattan Avenue parcel runs behind all its neighbors to the north all the way to Huron Street. That’s a pretty big parcel— which is probably why its owner wants to build 14 condos on it.

Bearing the previous in mind, exactly who (developer, investor, etc.) would want to trifle with, much less “renovate”, a mere three story residential building in such a location? Much less one which is, as even the Salvation Army representative conceded, in abysmal condition? It is pretty obvious to me who is going to want this property and will probably pay top dollar for it. Anyone care to guess?

In closing, I cannot think of one rational reason why someone saw fit to cover up this FDNY sign. All a potential buyer need do in order to ascertain that 981 Manhattan Avenue has “problems” is simply look for stairs servicing the first floor to the “residential” apartments above. They’re ain’t any.

So why bother doing this?

All this does is conceal a hazard our Bravest should be aware of in the event they have to fight a fire there. This is not a likely scenario, but the possibility is there. Anyone who was around here on May 2, 2006 knows fires can and do happen. Sort of fucked up, isn’t it?

Post Script, 8:10 PM: When the Mister arrived home he asked about my day. I explained it to him. He pointed out the obvious:

So you can’t file a 311 complaint for someone concealing a FDNY marker?

No, apparently you cannot. Sure, I could have lodged a “complaint” with the Department of Buildings about hazards within 981 Manhattan Avenue— but there are no tenants. The only threat this poses is to the FDNY if a fire occurs— and apparently 311 cannot, will not handle THAT.

Update, 9/18/2015: I have personally brought this to the attention to the fellas at Engine 238/Ladder 106. They were not pleased either.

To be continued…

Comments

2 Comments on Quicklink: 981 Manhattan Is For Sale!

  1. MaineBarnCat on Wed, 16th Sep 2015 7:48 pm
  2. Miss H.: please compare the two photos. Rather than painting out, the sign was moved up to fully cover the FDNY marking. In the earlier photo, you can see that the phone number on the sign is immediately above the awning. In the second photo, the phone number is now slightly higher than the granite window sills. My guess — the sign was first placed as in the early photo. Someone came along and said, “You idiot! The FDNY marker still shows! Move that sign up to completely cover the marker! Right freakin now!

  3. missheather on Wed, 16th Sep 2015 8:42 pm
  4. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The principle(s) of my post still stand. :/

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