Architect Botched Plans for Mixed-Used Hell’s Kitchen Development, Suit Claims

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The architect behind a mixed-use development in Hell’s Kitchen botched the plans, causing significant delays to the project and requiring the developers to hire a new firm, developers claim in a lawsuit.

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The developers of 646 11th AvenueCBSK Ironstate — filed a lawsuit against GreenbergFarrow claiming the architects breached its contract because of the poor design work for the 12-story retail and residential project. The snafus caused the developers to lose more than $8 million, according to the suit.

The suit claims that GreenbergFarrow’s plans for the site had a “significant percentage” of the project’s bathrooms that did not meet the American with Disabilities Act requirements, stairwells that did not meet the fire code, elevator doors in the wrong spots and drawings that would have led to the manufacturing of the wrong sized windows.

“Because of the numerous errors or omissions in GreenbergFarrow’s drawings, it was necessary to hire a new architect to conduct a peer review of GreenbergFarrow’s drawings and to completely revise those drawings,” the suit said.

Representatives for the developer and GreenbergFarrow did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The developer’s lawyers, Loly Tor and Patrick Perrone of K&L Gates, also did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2018, CBSK Ironstate — a partnership between CB Developers, SK Development Group and Ironstate Development — bought 646 11th Avenue for $93 million with plans to develop condos on the site, New York Yimby reported.

Plans for the site between West 47th and West 48th Streets call for a 12-story glass-and-concrete building to replace the one-story auto dealership with 222 units, 60 storage units, and 40,000 square feet of retail space, while keeping the Lexus showroom, according to New York Yimby.

CBSK Ironstate hired Atlanta-based GreenbergFarrow, which has New York City offices at 44 West 28th Street and is known for designing the Ikea store in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

New York Yimby reported that construction for the project crossed the halfway point in October 2019 and it was set to finish in 2021.

However, the suit claims GreenbergFarrow’s designs caused delays in construction and approvals for the development and, in June 2019, the developers terminated the contract with GreenbergFarrow.

The suit is seeking “damages, costs and any such other relief” against GreenbergFarrow.

The 646 11th Avenue project isn’t the only building GreenbergFarrow worked on for some of the developers. SK Development and CB Developers also tapped the architect to design its 21-story Upper West Side apartment tower at 214 West 72nd Street, as Commercial Observer previously reported. That project is still under construction as of December 2019, according to CityRealty.