In Williamsburg, a forest of construction takes over block after block. What’s worse this construction is on pause till a date unknown.
Building inspectors have recorded 143 stalled construction sites in the city -- with many residing in Williamsburg. There are currently 18 vacant lots and buildings in the 'burg, The New York Post reported.
This number is especially large when compared to The Bronx and Queens, with each having just 14 stalled construction sites, and Staten Island with 13. Manhattan accounts for 39 and Brooklyn with a whopping 63. In this suffering economy, the situation is growing worse due to lack of funding for developers, the paper said.
Phillip DePaolo, a resident who moved from The Bronx to Williamsburg, explains that these vacant lots pose a safety issue.
“The problem we’re having now is that we’re starting o get squatters in these buildings and lots. Blight draws crime, and if you have blocks and blocks of vacant lots with no people, that creates a problem,” he told the Post.
Building officials and City Council members joined forces to create a bill that will ensure the maintenance of these sites-even when construction is stopped. Currently, developers lose their permits after a year of stopped construction and must go through a rigorous process before they can resume.
The Department of Buildings has constructed, however, a unit of five inspectors in charge of monitoring the stalled sites.
“We created this unit to ensure stalled job sites are safely maintained until work can resume,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.