GRAMERCY — The already-indebted contractor overseeing a long-dormant Third Avenue construction site hated by neighbors has racked up about $35,000 in additional fines after blowing off two hearings over site violations, according to the city agency leveling the penalty.
The city will fine B Genco Contracting Corporation roughly $35,660 for failing to maintain the work site at 133 Third Ave., which sat largely untouched since 2012, after the contractor skipped two hearings on a host of violations, according to Departing of Buildings records and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.
The contractor was supposed to appear before OATH on June 22 and June 29 for summonses issued by the DOB for cracks in the sidewalk, failing to secure the construction site, and violations related to the sidewalk shed, records show. Because a representative failed to show up, the corporation was hit with the default penalties for the violations, said an OATH spokeswoman.
DOB records show a fine of $11,660 has already been imposed for the jilted June 22 hearing. The default penalties for the June 29 summons will result in about $24,000 in additional fines, said an OATH spokeswoman.
Both the contractor and the site's owner, John Pappas of McArthur Morgan LLC, have a long history of ignoring hearings for the long-stalled site's many outstanding violations. They still owe the city $38,000 in default penalties dating back to October of last year, plus an additional $8,364.36 for a violation dating back to 2015 for failing to properly light the construction shed, records show.
Plans for a 16-story development hit a snag when a 2012 construction incident caused concrete to burst into an NYU dorm next door. A contractor of NYU soon after sued Pappas over the incident, and that lawsuit is still making its way through court. Pappas and his contractors have continued to rack up fines for failing to maintain the site in the meantime.
Neighbors are getting increasingly impatient with the lack of activity at the neglected site, claiming the site is an eyesore and the broken sidewalk is dangerous.
"It's a safety hazard. It's inconvenient for people who walk through that narrow walkway. It's particularly treacherous if you have a cane or a wheelchair," said neighbor Harry Weiner. "But again, there's been absolutely no construction activity — the only activity I see is I occasionally see summonses taped to the wall there."
The DOB imposed a stop work order on the site after the 2012 construction incident, which has been partially lifted to allow some repair work and was reimposed in June 2016 when the sidewalk shed was determined to be noncompliant with agency requirements.
Most recently, on June 6, the site owner got a permit from DOB to build a code-compliant shed, records show. But if Pappas and his contractors want to get the project back on track, they need to correct all the outstanding violations, said a DOB spokesman, adding that the owner is now working with the agency to fix those violations.