Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In the Heights

NAOMI FIRSTMAN, a nurse, lives in an apartment building on the corner of 184th Street and Bennett Avenue, in Washington Heights. Or at least that’s where she gets her mail.

“The community is definitely in an uproar,” said a spokeswoman for the local councilman.

Lately, she has been sleeping at a friend’s apartment a few blocks away. Her own apartment, she said, has been rendered virtually uninhabitable by construction noise, and she isn’t talking about familiar New York sounds like the clatter of jackhammers or the beeping of forklifts.

For the past seven months, Ms. Firstman said, a hydraulic hammer has been pounding away at a hulking mass of rock right outside her window. Washington Heights is a rocky place, and the steep hills and palisades for which the neighborhood is named have long served as natural fortifications against development.

Until recently, the lot on Overlook Terrace, a little more than a half-acre, looked much as it must have looked millennia ago, with scrappy trees and bushes clinging to a towering rock formation.

But now a contracting company is breaking down the rock to make way for a 27-story condominium, and local reaction has been, in a word, loud.

“The community is definitely in an uproar,” said Wendy Olivo, a spokeswoman for City Councilman Robert Jackson.

The Sound and the Furious

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Queensworld where this happens daily (though, perhaps, on a smaller scale).

Real estate's rule #1:

If there is a lot in front of your window that a developer can build upon, you can kiss your view goodbye!