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Is it true that Local 11 is holding the city hostage? It's the weirdest look, the permanent scaffolds on almost every block. The buildings built in 1919 suddenly crumble? I don't think so. It's especially upsetting/ugly now when the trees are in bloom, and everything looks sweet and - except those ugly ugly scaffolds all over the place. Anyone knows why such sudden proliferation of idle scaffolding?
from what I hear, it's due to the NYC Dept of bldgs. My contractor told me that any work done above the 1st floor now requires a bridge to protect pedestrians. And, those bridges are bloody expensive, adding big $ to the cost of the work itself.
But why so much work is required on the buildings, year after year? Local 11 says the repointing is due every 10 years - why? They do such crappy job that it has to be redone every 10 years? On the buildings that have been just fine without Local 11 for almost 100 years? So my guess is that the union just holds the NYC Dept. of buildings by the balls. The beautiful quaint streets look really depressing, and no actual work can be discerned to untrained eye...
the city is charging us for everything, Permits for scaffolding are a source of income, the re-pointing is only needed if the inspection documents the need. It is also upsetting since there are buildings with scaffolding that are erected for years and years. (park and 32).
It's a five-year cycle, not 10.
One person killed by a piece of falling building in 1980, so with typical over-reaction Local Laws 10 and 11 are what we got.
The inspection itself now has to be done with scaffolding, so requires a sidewalk bridge.
Interesting to note: When a building utilizes a bridge the costs associated with the bridge are limited to putting it up and taking it down. The time the bridge stands has little effect on the total cost.
anywork done on a roof is a mandatory sidewalk shed that extends 5 feet beyond the ends of the side of the building...20ft if the buidling over 100ft tall...then depending if materials are being hoisted over the side its has seriously fortified...the scaffolding business is booming! $100 per linear sq ft is the average cost. learning all about it lol
No other city on the planet has this many "repairs". Not the cities that's been around for thousands of years, and no other American city. Tells you something about the quality of all these repairs. We are so used to seeing the ugly and being used as walking ATM for the city, all at the same time. This is sad. Maybe just the spring expectations got to me, all those birds chirping and the feathery clouds floating and the women spreading their wings...
scaffolding = appearance of "work" = union can claim overtime while drinking coffee at the starbucks across the street.
The city has to make up the $'s lost by buildings being taxed so low due to RS apartments and artificially low rents
You people are whining nuts. Facades were grossly neglected for decades in the high rise era. Left to their own, building owners put upkeep off for another day when maybe someone else will be around to pay for it. Take for example 2 Fifth Ave which put off maintenance so long that e entire facade is separating from the structure and has to be replaced entirely. Look at east side buildings where balcony railings corroded and balcony slabs were weakened due to water infiltration over e last 40 years. As new york's high rises age, problems are discovered that engineers didn't anticipate. Lintels everywhere rot out over time. Terraacotta deteriorates in the acidic rain of new York. Bricks Ned reprinting.
So you figure this out with an inspection. The local law 11 cycle required e most intensive inspections yet including soundings for water damage to internal metal work. So up goes a scaffold. The inspectors inspect. Problems are found and scaffold remains while building gets competing analyses. Then the building bids e job to correct the problem. Now the corrective action is finally done. It can take two years or more if things are really bad in the building. Meanwhile as a reasonable way to keep us safe from all this work, a scaffold and bridge stay up. You really want people working with tools and bricks and stone over your head as you walk?
And FYI: it costs a not insignificant amount for the scaffold even while up. Fees of $10000 to $20000 per month aretypical for about a 100-150 foot long building.
Thank you autocorrect on iPad. That should be " bricks need repointing."
Disable the autocorrect, you will be happier for it.
Thanks for the perspective, BTW.
kylewest, you are right on all points BUT the question remains: why no other city in the world has this issue and its buildings are still not crumbling? Maybe you are talking about the abominable 70'-80s construction that no amount of inspection/replacement/maintenance can save. But the pre-war stock is holding up pretty well, just like it is all over the country and overseas. What gives?
You are wrong. Plenty of pre-wars have serious issues that are emerging now that they are coming up on their 100th birthdays. Same with loft buildings in Soho. As I said, those with terra cotta have major issues of erosion and corrosion of infrastructure behind the terra cotta. When a glazed exterior material is used like white brick or terra cotta, water is repelled, but nevertheless seeps in through grout or due to condensation. That same glazing that keeps water out for the most part, also keeps water in. That trapped moisure corrodes metal support beam and can compromise the integrity of what holds the facade onto the structure and even the structure itself. Similarly, decorative doodads along the roof lines of many older buildings have never been tended to properly and are in gross disrepair. All of this poses dangers to the public (potentially) so once an inspection shows work needs to be done, the public is protected by scaffolding until the condition is corrected.
I agree and disagree with you about cities around the world. First, there is plenty of scaffold in London and Paris and many other cities. But these cities were not built almost entirely in the last hundred years. So they aren't' falling apart all at the same time. NYC went up in a flash compared to many European cities, and this compressed timeframe for construction is what I imagine is causing so many of our buildings to share the same maintenance issues as one another so close in time. Second, all of Manhattan is pretty much over 6 stories (Local Laws do not apply in the same way to structures of 6 stories and less as I recall). There aren't many U.S. cities as built up as ours. Look at Chicago--there's downtown and then immediately everything flattens out to a couple of stories for miles. Where would you expect to see scaffolding there? Comparatively there are so few older high rises that even if 20% had scaffold you still wouldn't register it on a visit. Other cities across America are also just don't contain the number of tall building we do so they have less scaffolds. Other cities are also newer, relative to NYC and its buildings.
If you travel out to Queens or Bklyn, you'll see much less scaffold--just like in America's flatter cities.
As I said, though, Local Law 11 mandates VERY intensive inspection and repair for compliance. As buildings all come into compliance and move ahead in time, Local Law 12 and future Local Laws are likely to be less onerous; as compliance will be easier to achieve in the next couple cycles, the scaffolds will be up for shorter time periods.
Keeping a city on a rock working when there are 4 million people using it every work day is tough. The local laws are a wise, necessary part of keeping Manhattan chugging along. Grin and bear it. It is better for us all in the long run.
kylewest, thank you for your informative and precise post. You are right on all points, and I feel like an idiot for not seeing the facts. Didn't know about the 6-stories laws. What an eye opener! Thank you again. Will wave your post into the faces of all other critics of Manhattan!
Thank you, but unnecessary. I just find, when something seems stupid, more often than not I don't have all the facts. Not that this stops me from making still sometimes an ass of myself by speaking before learning.
Here's a take away about Local Law 11: ASK when BUYING about the building's compliance. If a high rise, you can be in for a HUGE assessment if they are not yet in compliance. If the building has already passed its Local Law 11 compliance, then you can reasonably assume the facade is in good shape going forward. For buildings under 6 stories, realize that maintenance of the facade is easier and less likely to ever cost as much as a high rise. Of course, ornate facades of any type will be more expensive to maintain than plain brick. SImiliarly, new buildings with glass curtain walls have not been tested over time--all those new condos may or may not develop major issues over the next 2 decades--some may have catastrophic failures of materials. There just isn't a long history of how residential buildings with glass curtain walls age. The buildings that explored this technology in the 50's and 60's were in some ways over-engineered because of their novelty and the architects' desires to not be made to look like idiots as their showcases fell apart. Even through the 70's and 80's, there were not a ton of these style buildings developed as residences. It was really in the 1990's that glass residential towers took off all over NYC to become, in a sense, a dime a dozen. And I suspect less attention went into their design, cost-cutting was present all over the place, and all anyone cared about was getting condos in them sold and moving on. I seriously wonder how these buildings will age--how many will (or already have) developed leaks around the windows and fogging inside faulty double pained glass, etc.
good news is more people will get into the business and It'll get less expensive.I prefer that there are laws that are enforced and sidewalk sheds have to be erected becuase without those laws buildings and contractors would to cheap work and people would get hurt.
kylewest, the glass wall buildings on the UES already do show problems, and in Yorkville, and in Tibeca. I know a person whose glass wall on high floors west askew, and another one who was putting up a TV on a wall (in a name-recognised building), and was left literally holding soggy wall stuffing in his hands.
This "all new, all the time" concept looks pretty in the beginning, although I am into much less sanitized look, but the transient feeling and flimziness are sort of part of it. So probably Trump buildings will not be part of historical process, as in what's 30 years here and there.
west askew = went askew
It can be annoying but aren't there enough things to worry about without worrying about getting hit over the head with a gargoyle?
That said, it does seem there are an extra bunch of scaffolds this year.
I wonder if it's clumped and related to a number of buildings waiting for the last possible year (expense wise) to do the inspection, making this time period (of the decade) extra busy as they are due at the same time every 10 years now.
I'd like to see an inspector have more leaway advising next inspection in a)5 years b)10 years c) 15 years
All buildings are not created equal.
we should take after asia... any building built in 70s or earlier is being prepared to be knocked down. no point in fixing, just rip it down and build another piece of s*%t in it's place that will last 30-40 yrs.
Buildings are going into the new five-year cycle over the next few years, depending on the last digit of their block number. The city planned it that way to avoid clumps when it reduced the cycle from 10 years to five.
NWT, "depending on the last digit of their block number" – could you explain? Thanks in advance.
There's one five-year cycle for the whole city, but the city doesn't want to get swamped with reports at the end of the cycle, so there're three year-long subcycles in years 1-3 of the cycle.
Assigning sub-cycles by block number spreads the load of inspection and reporting. It does mean that you'll see lots of bridging on any particular block at the same time.
what about buildings under 6 stories ?
The VA earthquake LAST YEAR fractured A LOT of pre-war buildings!!!!
> kylewest, the glass wall buildings on the UES already do show problems, and in Yorkville, and in Tibeca
Saw a 3BR unit this weekend, practically blame new building, has water stain in the living room and tiny cracks running along the base of the window board and right at the edge or corner. This is a NEW building! Someone maybe willing to pay multi-million $ for water stains, who knows.
marco_m, I don't know. There must've been some push-back from the industry when the law was enacted, so maybe the seven-and-taller criterion was a compromise.
Yes, I just figured out that when my lawyer said my building passed as safe in 2010, that it was the previous cycle. That explains the current assessment, despite the comment then that "There is no current assessment and none is planned."
Good for nothing....
Even if your lawyer says no "planned assessment", plan for it and plan for it BIG TIME.
I can't see anything other than higher maintenance fees and assessments going forward.
Assessments for Local Law 11 can be enormous. Yet, without fail, when I've asked RE agents at open houses where the building stands in terms of Local Law 11 compliance, I get blank stares. They typically have no idea what I'm talking about, and if they do know what LL11 is, they don't know if the building is compliant. How this has not caught on among buyers as a major due diligence issue is beyond me. It isn't that you don't buy if LL11 isn't done, but the condition of the facade and board discussions of same and lots of questions have to be closely examined to determine value and expected costs. If it is a plain red brick building of 6 stories that looks good and has no balconies, then risk is low. But if the facade looks shoddy, with rust stains running down from windows or a/c vents, or if the materials are unusual like terra cotta or glazed brick, or if the balconies look wonky, BE AFRAID and ask questions.
kylewest, I couldn't agree with you more how many UNINFORMED buyers are out there. All these buyers see, as I noticed in OHs, are the nice views and the nice staging. Pull the curtains back and the wall is rotting from water leaks and special assessments are queuing up.
kylewest, is there any way to find out a building's LL 11 status, through a DDB site or something? Should be somewhere, shouldn't it.
commoner, I'm not sure. I've found that asking the questions usually will bring answers and telling your lawyer that you expect a full explanation of the LL11 status from her/him as part of the due diligence research. It isn't a secret in most cases. But if answers are cagey or people just haven't a clue and the board minutes don't speak to it, then there could be a problem. Again, 2 Fifth Avenue is a paradigm of a LL11 mess: a building with horrid upkeep and blind eyes year after year. For 5 years the exterior struck me as obviously needing serious repair. Rust stains all over, chipped bricks, hodge podge patches in the pointing, missing bricks, tilting balconies. How buyers didn't see this is amazing. How shareholders didn't revolt LONG before they did was irresponsible. And the board's inept handling of the building upkeep for what looks like a decade or much longer is shameful. When shopping, use your common sense and if you see what looks like a problem, pursue answers until you are satisfied you have the information you need before spending 100's of thousands of dollars.
Here's a hint taken from the world of yachting: when trying to determine the overall upkeep of a vessel, look at the hardware and decking and small things. Are they in great condition? Polished, not in need of 1000 little repairs? Do they show pride in ownership? If so, 9 times out of 10 the maintenance logs for the big things will mirror the maintenance of the little things. Same with a building. Is the lobby is ship-shape, the floors polished and clean, the furniture decent? Are the doormen neat and pressed and professional? Are the elevators polished and looking good? Are the garbage cans in the mailroom emptied? Are the mirrors clean? Is the awning in good repair? Does the exterior look good? If so, this is a building with a board that has an attention to detail. If instead the brass in the elevator is tarnished, the "close door" button is pressed in and stuck in that position and broken, the hallways need vacuuming, anything looks run down, then beware--if you aren't even taking care of the small things, you sure as hell aren't taking care of the big things.
Kyle, you need to name your theory.
Thank you, kylewest. I, for now, am done buying and selling. Just believe that there's no useless information.
I moved into my apt on the 2nd floor 2 yrs ago.....our building was in the midst of local law 11....so had scaffolding surrounding my apartment windows....finally came down after 3 months and then 3 months later it went back up for another 5 months for additional work.....had about 1 yr without scaffolding and then the building next door(20 ft away) put up their scaffolding and due to local law 11 regulations, scaffolding comes back in front of my windows for prob another 3 or 4 months....when it comes down, we are putting ours back up since more post local law 11 work needs to be done....so all in all, in 2 yrs, have had 4 scaffolding projects up in front of my apt windows...i realize that its the risk of living on the 2nd floor but its a bit unnerving when the city dictates that even scaffolding froma neighboring building can be put up in front of your windows.....and no sort of compensation.....whatsover...
Who would you want compensation from? The only logical people could be the people above the 2nd floor. But didn't you buy your apartment for cheaper than if it were on a higher floor?
And not that you are being selfish but that scoffolding is there so no one is killed or injured while the building you own is maintained for your benefit. The city should pay you for being sure u dont kill someone? Really? More like maybe this is what living on a second floor can be like and u should have known that.
kylewest....you are extremely arrogant in your tone.....im just saying that in 2yrs that i have lived there its been unusual to have scaffolding up 4x.....i realized before buying that scaffolding can be an issue but 1x every 5 yrs...not 4x in 2yrs.....sounds like you have lots of bitterness in your own response.......have to love streeteasy people that hide behind their emails and 'let loose'...
Jackson, why are you mad at Kyle for being realistic about the need for scaffolding and not at your broker for not educating you to the implications of buying a second floor apartment? Did you FSBO without advisement?
Guys, Jackson's just venting. And fair enough to vent -- that sucks. I mean, sure, it's necessary and, sure, he should have known it would suck, but...it still sucks.
By the way, to return to an earlier point, someone asked why other cities don't have scaffolding -- and, in fact, Chicago is notorious for it. There's scaffolding up in Chicago that I'd swear is older than the building it's around -- I'm pretty sure some of it was put up by the Potawatomi. Then someone finally comes and takes it down and...whaddya know? There was a freakin' building behind there!
Can Jackson vent with all of that scaffolding around?
"There's scaffolding up in Chicago that I'd swear is older than the building it's around."
Jackson, I think you are not being realistic. The very fact that they took the scaffold down at all in between phases of work was a bonus. Many buildings trying to comply with this very tough Local Law 11 cycle have to leave scaffolds in place for a full 1.5-2 yrs. Virtually no one got away with just a few months of scaffold for this local law cycle. Future cycles are likely to go back to being less extensive in what they require. This one was the biggie. I doubt you'll have to endure this again in the future. And fwiw, posts aren't emails.