MANHATTAN, New York, — The condominium tower located at the intersection of Maiden Lane and South Street, whose address is officially 161 Maiden Lane, is one of the newest construction projects in the financial district and it is leaning to the north. The tilt of the structure is the subject of a highly contentious lawsuit filed in Manhattan Superior Court recently. The New York Post reported that the building was constructed with a faulty foundation, which causes a three-inch lean to the north. While that does not seem like a significant distance, the building is off-set enough that when fully loaded, windows and pieces of material could break off and fall to the street below and is unsafe to inhabit. The question for a Manhattan judge to determine is which party is responsible for the error and then what needs to be done about it.
The project contractor sued the project developer over the problem. According to the New York Post, the contractor wants to be relieved from its obligation under a contract with the developer because of the cost-cutting measures the developer took that led to the building being unsafe. The contractor alleges that the developer did not pile drive the footings for the foundation into the ground before pouring the foundation. Consequently, the building settled and then shifted three inches. The shift rendered the building unsafe and, according to the lawsuit, is close to trespassing on other building’s situated nearby. The tilt of the structure could cause the windows to fall out, doors to open randomly, leaks, and uneven floors. Adding occupants will only exacerbate the issue. Therefore, the contractor wants off of the project. They say the building is not safe for its employees or anyone to live there.
The developer denies any wrongdoing and said it would pursue a counterclaim against the contractor. The developer says the contracting company is only trying to cover up its sub-par work.
The lawsuit is pending, and city officials will inspect the building for safety precautions.
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