Point of View
Why we fight
By Margaret Groarke
The stalled construction site at 3333 Giles has been terrible for residents of Giles Place. The construction fence collapses with every significant storm and currently sags over the sidewalk, where unheeded violations flutter in the wind. The owner, the shadowy “GRA V LLC” (the subject of four tax lien sales) doesn’t pull the waist-high sidewalk weeds in summer or shovel in winter, making the sidewalk impassable.
But it’s been a much bigger nightmare for the homeowners that abut this property on Fort Independence Street and Cannon Place, since the developer — in his cynical, haphazard and illegal frenzy to beat the clock on new zoning regulations — ripped out the stone retaining wall (likely dating to the Revolution) that had held the land in place for 200 years and replaced it with plywood, rebar and an inches-deep “foundation” they hoped to pass off as complete before abandoning the property. I was happy to see the Press cover their plight.
While I wasn’t around when this drama started, I am a plaintiff in the suit against the City, the DOB, and GRA V LLC, which aims to enforce the current zoning and prevent the construction of a large apartment building on the site. I think this is a very important fight, for several reasons.
KeywordsMargaret Groarke, stalled construction site, 3333 Giles, Fort Independence Street and Cannon Place, Community Board 8, City Planning and the City Council, Buildings Department.