A private engineering firm has been hired to investigate the exact cause of the deadly parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan in April, according to a contract notice published in the City Record on Tuesday.
The firm LERA Consulting Structural Engineers will be paid nearly $1 million to deploy forensic engineers to collect data, photos and historical records to determine why the 100-year-old, three-story garage at 57 Ann St. crumbled, the notice states.
The collapse of the building killed Willis Moore, the garage’s longtime manager, and injured five others. In the aftermath of the tragedy, four other parking garages were vacated by city officials after they were deemed dangerous or unstable.
DOB spokesperson David Maggiotto said the agency has investigated the cause of the collapse alongside law enforcement since the April 18 incident. Following the collapse, city officials said the building had several open violations dating back 20 years, including issues like sagging beams and cracking concrete.
A local law passed in 2021 requires structural and safety inspections for all parking garages in the city — but the mandate for those south of Central Park didn’t go into effect until the end of last year. The Ann Street garage had not filed an inspection report mandated by the law at the time of the collapse, building records show.
At the time of the collapse, the garage was owned by 57 Ann Street Realty Associates — a company helmed by Alan Henick — and operated by the company Little Man Parking, records show.
Maggiotto said it’s common for the city to hire outside investigators following major failures.
After a crane collapsed in Tribeca in 2016, killing one person and injuring three others, the DOB similarly hired a third party vendor, Crane Tech Solutions, to draft a similar “cause and origin” report.
Maggiotto said there is no set date for the company to publish the report on the parking garage collapse.