Not long after RXR Realty broke ground on the Larkin Plaza development in Yonkers, adjacent building owners claim, more than the ground started to break.
Excavation, earth removal, pile driving, steel erection and other construction activities, according to a lawsuit filed by Gateway Loft Associates and Alma Realty Corp., have “caused substantial physical damage to Gateway’s premises.”
The building owners want the Westchester Supreme Court to order RXR to stop construction and prevent more damage.
RXR spokesman Seth Pinsky acknowledged minor damage to a neighboring building during an early phase of construction.
“We have worked collaboratively with the neighbor to shore up the building,” he said, “and no further damage has occurred.”
Larkin Plaza is a massive, $200 million project in the heart of downtown Yonkers, between Main and Nepperhan streets and Warburton Avenue, next to the new Van der Donck Park and Saw Mill River esplanade.
RXR, based in Uniondale, is building 17-story and 25-story buildings with 439 apartments and retail space, as well as two smaller buildings with retail and parking.
The 17-story structure was topped off in November, and occupancy is expected in early 2019.
Gateway and Alma, based at the same address in Long Island City, own three, old four-story buildings at 35-39 Main St., with walk-up apartments and ground-level businesses such as La Bella Havana restaurant.
RXR broke ground on Larkin Plaza in December 2016. The following February, Gateway and Alma notified RXR that their buildings had been damaged.
The floor slab and foundation settled, they claim, a wall separated and cracked, exterior walls were cracked, the roof was damaged, and the buildings settled and tilted.
The owners say they recently gave RXR a consultant’s report detailing damages from Dec. 1, 2016 to Sept. 19, 2017.
The complaint accuses RXR of negligence for failing to take reasonable steps to protect adjacent buildings. The plaintiffs are asking for $2 million in damages and an injunction to stop construction and to direct the developer to “immediately take steps to remedy the dangerous conditions and prevent future damages.”
Pinsky said the lawsuit is part of a process of allocating liability.
“Our insurance carrier will defend the lawsuit,” he said.