Construction Update: What is essential and what is not?

When work restarted last week on the future Firmdale hotel at 86 Warren, I thought it was part of the governor’s list of essential infrastructure that allows for hotel construction. However, it seems this is not the case. The vast majority of construction sites remained shut down, according to the Department of Buildings, including the hotel at 456 Greenwich. You can see what *is* allowed to continue on this DOB realtime map.

Developers can, however, file for an Essential Construction Request, which is what happened at 86 Warren. “This application was initially approved by the Department, however a subsequent audit of the project found that project did not meet DOB criteria for essential construction in NYC,” wrote a DOB spokesman. “The Essential Construction Request approval was revoked on Friday, 4/24/20, and the site was ordered to shut down.”

The DOB added that it is “enforcing the Governor’s order banning non-essential construction. The vast majority of sites remain shut down, as our diligent plan examiners are carefully reviewing and auditing every application we receive to ensure only emergency and essential work continues during the shutdown.”



  1. I just hope they take this opportunity to work on the L Train so they can open it earlier than planned!

  2. FYI: L train work (on tunnel) is COMPLETE.

  3. 86 Warren WAS previously considered essential – at least when I check the DOB map a few weeks ago when they were working past the quarantine. They then stopped work for a few weeks, before starting and stopping again. The essential status of the project was, as you report, then changed.

    What appear to be monitoring devices were attached to the rear wall of one of the existing, adjacent properties on Monday, before the site was shut down again. I overlook the site, and am very appreciative for no air horns and pile driving at 7 AM during this quarantine.

  4. Construction at 86 Warren has been halted for a week now. No workers on site at all. Does anyone know what is going on?