Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is going on with the corner of 14th Street and Avenue A?

EV Grieve reader Tom passed this along yesterday... we'll let him report the story...

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As you know, ever since May 12, 2010 when the fire destroyed the stores on the southeast corner of 14th Street and Avenue A, there has been no reconstruction whatsoever at the site. The only thing open at that corner has been the Middle Eastern food cart that appeared there a few months ago:


Then in late May, I noticed that some workers removed one plywood sheet, entered the site and did a little work. Here's a pic of a worker taking measurements; and given the length of the tape measure, he clearly wasn't measuring for drapes:


Then yesterday, they started building a sidewalk construction shed around the site:



I checked the land records online, and there's no new deed on record yet. But something's up. Whatever it is, I just hope that Stuyvesant Grocery and Pete's-A-Place will be able to return.

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We walked by the site ourselves last evening. The posted permits expired on April 1. According to the DOB, there aren't any other permits on file or pending.

So that means — shocker! — the work yesterday was done illegally... Meanwhile, we await the fate of this corner.

And a photo from DJ Xerox...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

i hope that you called it in to 311 for illegal construction? i can't call in everything. You should only know how many calls i make a day for violations that i see in this neighborhood. Please call it in and thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI cuz I find it interesting:

The falafel truck is there 24/7. I hope he cleans up on the weekends when the block is overrun with drunks. I keep meaning to get a falafel with hot sauce, baba ganoush, and a seltzer (but soberly and during the day; I'm a librarian now).

Also, the fruit guys in front of Stuyvesant PO have also gone 24/7. I guess because few merchants can afford rent? It seems a tough gig -- how many folks are buying fruit at 3 am? I thought maybe Beth Israel peeps but there's another 24/7 fruit stand in front of the CVS on 1st that is way closer to BI.

Anyway, I buy all my fruit from the Stuyvesant guys, so it is nice for me if I get a hankering for pineapple in the dead of night, but I also think it kind of sucks that hardworking people have to be outside all night when 10-15 years ago they might actually be able to rent a small space. What happens when winter comes?

Paul Battaglia said...

I long for the days when my mother used to take me to Woolworth's on that block and I jumped on the hobby horse outside. Ah jeez, that was about 1976...I'm really aging myself....

Anonymous said...

I really hope it's not going to be another apt/condo building or NYU dorm.

Anonymous said...

They have a permit (check for Tax Block 407 Lot 8)

http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=2&passjobnumber=120726447&passdocnumber=01

Noam said...

I remember getting Slurpees at Baracini's in a John Unitas, or Bart Starr collector cup...you could NEVER get the Joe Namath...the employees must have made off with those.

Tom said...

@Anonymous 3:40 PM,

Thanks for the info.

Looking at the DOB site, I don't see anything yet indicating what they're going to build on the property (other than the current permit for the new sidewalk shed).

Am I navigating the DOB site correctly?

EV Grieve said...

I saw the sidewalk shed permit today too... wasn't there yesterday... I don't see any other info either.

And thanks again for your reporting Tom!

Crazy Eddie said...

FYI. I stopped by Rosie Mendez’s office today (237 First Ave, suite 504) and directly reported the expired construction permit violation. The site still only shows the 4/1/2011 expiration date so f**k them. I also dropped off a hard copy of this tread (the one that was the current around 2 1/2 hours ago.). Re 311, my own personal experience with that # , I‘m 0 for 3. Makes an audit trail but that’s all. Typical Bloomberg window dressing. Also , has any one tried the street meat cart at 14th and A and lived to tell the tale?

Crazy Eddie said...

Sorry, I didn't see the shed permit. Oh well, I tried to be a good citizen. I truly believe that the small businesses are not coming back to this corner. The portal to Ave A, which I now call the Ave of Assholes, will most likely be an NYU dorm. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I thought the purples paint job screamed NYU but maybe that's just me.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to one of the guys who used to work in the deli a couple days ago. This was before the shed went up. He indicated they were still planning to reopen. He wasn't clear on what had been causing all the construction delays.

(Maybe it's due to people complaining about expired permits.)

blue glass said...

expired permits are not the problem
greedy landlords are
if there is a sidewalk shed permit it means more work to come
hope it's the original tenants and not a bank or cooper union disarchitecure project

Tom said...

@Crazy Eddie

I tried the chicken on rice (my usual order from street meat carts) from the cart on 14th & A. I didn't get sick, but taste-wise, it was really disappointing. Maybe the worst middle eastern chicken on rice I've ever had. Perhaps it was a rare off-night for the chef. But I'm not willing to risk another $5 to give him a second chance.

When I'm up for the walk or otherwise in the neighborhood, I go to a middle eastern cart on the SW corner of 14th & 3rd. There are two carts there and both are real cheap -- chicken or lamb on rice costs only $4 and includes a free can of soda or bottle of water. The second one in from the corner is much better than the first one on the corner.

Speaking of middle eastern food carts, try getting a COLD drink from them. It's like trying to get an ice cube in Europe.

Crazy Eddie said...

@Tom-thanks for the street meat info, I always wondered which cart of the 2 on the SW corner of Third ave and 14th was the better one

Leesy said...

The best Halal cart is on the corner of 11th and 1st ave. They actually just upgraded to a truck this year. The lamb is honestly the best I've had from any cart...and the drinks are always cold!

Really hope this deli comes back. I'll never forget how excited I was the first day I moved to the area and desperately needed a shower curtain. Of course they had one and all of the other random things I needed to get started. It was always fun to snag a dollar lotto ticket from the machine on my way out, too!

Tom said...

@Leesy - Thanks for the tip. All these years in the neighborhood, and I don't think I've ever gone to the Halal cart turned truck on 11th & 1st. (Although, given its location across the street from a mosque, I'd always thought that it would be, at minimum, pretty good.)