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Unoccupied Marcy Ave Building Collapses Next to Work Site

By Noah Hurowitz | May 16, 2017 1:12pm | Updated on May 16, 2017 5:54pm

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The facade of an unoccupied Marcy Avenue building collapsed Tuesday afternoon, forcing the residents of a neighboring building out of their home indefinitely, according to one temporarily displaced resident.

The front of 592 Marcy Ave., a two-story building between Willoughby and Vernon streets, crumbled sometime between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., according to a Department of Buildings spokesman, with debris tumbling onto the yard and sidewalk and exposing piles of rubble inside the structure.

The building had begun to buckle at least a few days before, according to Samuel Bronn, 40, who lives on the block.

The building at 592 Marcy Ave. collapsed after buckling. Slide over the image to see the before and after. (DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz)

The problem appeared to have worsened by Tuesday morning, bringing construction to a halt at a worksite next door, and by about 1 p.m., DOB officials vacated the apartment building next door, according to Sara Griffin, 24, who said her roommate watched the facade collapse piece by piece.

“I don’t know how long we’re gonna be out, but the landlord said we probably can’t go back inside until the building is demolished,” Griffin said, after retrieving some belongings from her apartment. “At least it didn’t collapse on us, so I’m trying to look on the positive side.”

Demolition crews with Yankel’s Demolition and Rubbish Removal were beginning to remove some of the debris by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, as city officials assessed the damage and passing motorists gawked at the destroyed building.

A man who said he worked for the demolition company but declined to give his name told DNAinfo New York that water had likely poured through the roof and caused debris inside the building to shift toward the front, putting pressure on the facade.

“I think what happened is the joist began to buckle and eventually cracked,” he said. “Now we’re gonna demolish the building.”

A spokesman for the Department of Buildings said it was not immediately clear what had caused the collapse.

A previous owner of 592 Marcy Ave. had filed demolition permits in 2011, but a representative of the company slated for that project told Gothamist that it “never panned out.” The previous owner of the building sold the property in 2015 to current owner Joel Steinberger who paid $609,350 for the decaying building, records show.

Sternberger could not immediately be reached for comment.