Unsurprising news of the millennium – the condo boom was not grounded on solid construction practices. Even less surprising, the craptacular Broadway Arms is a poster child for shoddy construction.
Some highlights from the Times’ grim assessment of construction quality in the 21st Century:
Many of the recently built glass towers are especially prone to temperature issues, because air-conditioning units are too small to combat the punishing summer sun, and heating systems can’t make up for a lack of insulation during the cold months. [So much for green construction.]
The sheer volume of new buildings that went up during the condo construction boom is the main reason for the increase in defective buildings, lawyers and engineers said… ‘It happens in every cycle,’ [attorney Stuart] Saft said. ‘At the beginning of the cycle, workers are underemployed, then suddenly they’re busy, and at the height, there are too many projects and not enough workers. Then what happens is shoddy workmanship, and when you have sponsors running out of money, they start to cut corners.’ [Cutting corners? The raft of building collapses and worker deaths wasn’t a tip off?]
Andrew P. Brucker, a real estate lawyer with the New York law firm of Schechter & Brucker, said that the boom had prompted people with no experience in real estate to start building condos. ‘When the market was hot,’ he said, ‘anybody who had a couple bucks suddenly became a developer, thinking they’d get rich’. [Smells like North Brooklyn.]