Demolition on White Street jail damages neighboring building

The demolition of the 19-story Manhattan Detention Center at 124-125 White — part of the plan to create a skyscraper jail on the site — has damaged the foundation walls of the nearby Chung Pak building, which has 88 apartments for low-income seniors. After nudging from Councilman Chris Marte, the Department of Buildings put a partial stop-work order on the construction site last week.

But apparently that did not stop the demo entirely. According to Neighbors United Below Canal, work is still going on, just farther from the Chung Pak building. Marte’s office said they will follow up to make sure the contractor makes repairs to the building.

At this point, the building is coming down no matter what. But NUBC is still concerned about the how, and rightly so considering how much garbage the city is creating with this plan: “Residents and businesses expressed decreased quality of life and decrease in business and an increase in pollution and debilitating noise,” the organization said in a press release. And that’s in addition to the damage to the building. “The community’s health concerns, exacerbated by Chinatown’s 9/11 zone status and aging infrastructure, are being neglected by the Department of Design and Construction. Reports of burning metal smells and fears of recirculating 9/11 particulates add to the anxiety.”

They are encouraging neighbors to document and report excessive noise, dust and traffic obstructions as they happen.

The city posts weekly updates on the demolition here.



  1. so terrible. Imagine IPN wants to put a tower right near 310 Greenwich Street. Literally on top. This will be way worse , for tenants, business. They are already suffering from 911 illnesses. 900 feet tower.

  2. It should be required for builders to put up people in surrounding buildings in hotels away but near by. There same should go for people that do elaborate and lengthy renovations in buildings already fully occupied, for frivilous reasons and make life hell for others.

  3. These city contracts need to be looked at and reviewed with critical eyes. 20% of city contracts are MWBE (minority women business enterprises). There should to be bench marks stated in the contract on how the demolition is progressing per health and safety standards. I think the onus is on the city agencies to monitor. With this current mayoral administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if folks are getting kick backs from such contracts for political favors and turned a blind eye.

    The vendor for this jail demolition is the Gramercy Group. You can search how much they get paid by the City of New York here:

  4. Additionally, Christ Marte got his handful. There is a proposed shelter coming to 105 Washington St, just a mere 3 minutes walk from PS 150 in FiDi. Similar to the story about another proposed shelter near Spruce Street School.

    • @ChibecaMom – we have a call with Marte’s office on Monday about the shelter at 105 Washington if you want to join.

  5. Just wondering:
    Rikers has outdoor recreation and green space – not seeing that there will be any in a high-rise jail.

    The logic for borough jails was to make it more accessible for visiting family.
    But people will be housed where they committed the crime.
    Many committing crimes in Manhattan actually live in other boroughs…..

    • This is always my argument too (no one listens). You could rebuild Rikers with all the new progressive architectural approaches to jails on the island’s current open space, and it would be much much easier in every regard. Then tear down the existing Rikers. Then develop a better ferry system for families to visit, rather than what the city makes them do now: take private vans from Burger King parking lots.

      • Rikers will be sold to the highest bidder for the newest in luxury real estate…

      • Tribeca Citizen:
        Right – could build a therapeutic detention facility on Rikers with humane design, proper medical and rehab services, recreation space etc.
        And free transit for families – Ferry per your suggestion.
        Or free shuttle buses.

        Could also use some space to build a residential rehab facility for people arrested but released pending trial and who are seeking rehab.
        And/or a half-way house type housing for people who have no place to go.

        Also where will COs park in Manhattan? Many live far away, must drive, have long shifts.

        • Since we are indulging ourselves here, another rationale was the time it takes to bus prisoners to court. Bring the courts — or at least some of them — there too. The city could have developed the site on White Street to pay for it all.