The Leaning Tower of Manhattan: The FiDi skyscraper is still unfinished nearly a decade later
Despite having one of the most iconic skylines in the world, Manhattan has been quietly playing host to an embarrassing construction fiasco for nearly a decade.
Unofficially dubbed “The Leaning Tower of FiDi,” a catastrophic high-rise near Wall Street has plagued the lucrative real estate market in midtown Manhattan.
The $300 million project ended in disaster when developers realized the building had a 3-inch tilt, leading to a tumultuous spiral of legal battles, architectural scraps and even the death of a builder.
The luxury skyscraper – dubbed 1 Seaport – was once one of the most lucrative real estate deals in the city, with potential residents scrambling to secure the apartments – reportedly costing up to $20 million – after they promised lavish amenities including a spa, fitness center and infinity pool. Potential tenants were even offered a luxury yacht service at no extra cost.
But while it has a prime real estate spot above Lower Manhattan’s East River, the waterfront view has yet to be enjoyed by a single resident after stop-start construction was last halted in 2020.
The One Seaport structure, pictured, has been on hold since 2020 amid mountain lawsuits and numerous controversies
The unfinished skyscraper was meant to be one of the most luxurious in NYC, but has been an eyesore on the skyline for nearly a decade
As far back as 2007, developers were jockeying to add to the view of Lower Manhattan, joining other structures, including the One World Trade Center and the Chrystler Building.
After years of negotiations, construction giant Fortis Property Group bought the property in 2013 for $64 million, and their ambitions seemed to become reality when work on the skyscraper officially started in July 2015. The hefty sum would generate huge returns, with 80 apartments to be built. estimated to be sold for a total of $272 million.
But development hit its first hurdle when a foundation problem would have caused the high-rise to lean about 3 inches to the north, according to Commercial Observer.
Pizzarotti LLC, the building’s contractor, filed a lawsuit against the developer, which was soon met with a countersuit from Fortis as the two went to war over the doomed skyscraper.
While most foundations in major cities such as Manhattan are built using a ‘stack’ method of carefully excavating and reinforcing the soil, protecting the foundations of surrounding buildings, those who worked on the project would take a different approach. have chosen.
Instead, they reportedly decided to use a “soil improvement” technique, which uses chemicals to improve the strength of the foundation. However, Fortis argues that Pizzarotti has insufficiently inventoried the project, which caused the ‘slight deviation’.
As construction progressed, foundation engineering is said to have caused the property to ‘sink’ crookedly, leading to a series of problems that remain unresolved. Fortis claims that the misalignment does not affect the safety of the structure.
And stunning images of the structure of YIMBY from New York revealing that the development is still a skeleton of its once-great potential, where luxury apartments have instead left the elements open and multimillion-dollar amenities have yet to be installed.
The 200-foot tower has been left to rot as it looms over Manhattan’s East River
Despite once being hailed as one of the
Residents were promised lavish amenities including a spa, fitness center, infinity pool, and even luxury yacht service at no extra cost
Besides the most pressing issue of the skyscraper’s unfortunate slope, the development has been hit by a number of scandals over the past decade.
In 2015, developer Jack Resnick & Sons, who owns a building just two blocks away called One Seaport Plaza, sued Fortis after they named the building One Seaport – giving the building a numeric ‘1’ instead.
While Fortis denies the tip-over poses a safety risk, Pizzarotti has claimed the tip could wreak havoc in New York’s financial district, resulting in falling facade panels, unforeseen corrosion and even elevator failures. slowed down.
In its countersuit, Fortis claims the structural problems were the fault of Pizzarotti, but added that the building remains “structurally stable.”
Over the years, the ensuing controversies and legal delays have spelled disaster for the high-rise, which once sparked hopes of being among the most luxurious in the area.
Despite the cheapest apartment costing more than $1.3 million, the building sold half of its available units within months, after striking preliminary sales launched in April 2016.
However, between January and September 2017, the New York City Department of Buildings slapped Pizzarotti with 10 building code violations, according to Observer.
Then, while construction was still underway, horror struck in 2017 when a father of five collapsed 27 stories to his death while working on the high-rise.
Juan Chonillo, 43, was on the 29th floor of the skyscraper when he fell onto street scaffolding. Although Department of Buildings officials said he hadn’t clipped in his harness, the tragedy caused construction to be halted for several months.
Juan Chonillo, pictured, fell to his death from the skyscraper’s 29th floor while working on the structure in 2017
When work resumed in January 2018, poorly assembled construction netting caused it to grind to a halt again, with the Ministry of Buildings issuing several stoppage work orders over the month, reports The real thing.
And a year after Chonillo’s tragic death, a crane operator reportedly caused significant damage after slamming construction materials into the 34th floor, causing concrete to collapse into the street below.
The on-again off-again skyscraper officially peaked in September 2018, with 78 of the building’s 98 apartments already off the market.
Amid hostile finger-pointing over the lack of progress, Pizzarotti launched a lawsuit against Fortis in March 2019 over the 8cm slope to the north, claiming that the method of improving the soil foundation was catastrophic.
The problem, first spotted by a subcontractor in April 2018, reportedly caused problems installing the glass curtain wall – with further safety risks including faulty windows that weren’t even watertight.
The building’s developer has insisted that despite not being completed for nearly a decade, it still has plans to finish the towering skyscraper
At one time, almost all lavish apartments were
On hold since late 2020, and with an uncertain future, the 200,000-square-foot structure remains in limbo.
The only work reportedly carried out is by Pizzarotti’s replacement as general contractor, Ray Builders, who designed another glass curtain wall to accommodate the gaudy tilt.
But in July 2020, Ray Builders stopped construction again after claiming Fortis failed to pay its workers, before resigning as a contractor.
Bank Leumi, which reportedly gave Fortis a $90 million construction loan for the doomed skyscraper in June 2016, was then blamed for the non-payments by Fortis in yet another lawsuit filed in August 2020 alleging that the bank had not paid comply with part of the loan agreement.
By the end of the year, the bank tried to cancel its loan for the skyscraper Pincus Coand from February 2021, all but six apartment buyers had canceled their contracts.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Fortis said it remains intent on completing the ill-fated skyscraper, claiming it “continues to work with all stakeholders to finalize legal matters so that we can resume work on the building.”
“The foundation at Maiden Lane was approved and recommended over other alternatives and was also approved by Pizzarotti before they signed the construction management agreement with Fortis or put a hammer on the project,” the company added.
With several legal disputes still ongoing between the numerous lenders and contractors involved in the project, Fortis added that it remains committed to the completion. enjoy this great property.’
But for now, Big Apple residents are left with the unfinished structure looming near other landmarks, including the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center. And amid countless lawsuits and legal challenges underlying the shortcomings, the eyesore remains unfinished, coloring Manhattan’s iconic skyline for all to see.
Pizzarotti LLC has been contacted for comment.