The reconstruction and restoration of the former Bulova Watchcase Factory on Division Street is easily the largest development project in Sag Harbor Village’s recent history, and it has shaken things up for neighboring residences and businesses — quite literally so.
During Tuesday night’s planning board meeting, member Larry Perrine — the planning board liaison between the village, the community and the condominium project’s developers Cape Advisors — reported dust emanating from construction is the newest ire for nearby property and business owners. This follows complaints about vibrations from the installation of a retaining wall which shook some residences so much, residents worried about the structural safety of their homes.
According to Perrine, last month the construction of the temporary retaining wall along Church and Sage Streets — necessary to shore up the property while an underground garage is being constructed — literally shook neighboring properties for two solid weeks as the 45-foot long steel pilings were vibrated into the ground.
“The developers and I both dealt with the complaints and concerns and did our best to alleviate the worries of citizens that were most impacted and live closest to the site about the potential damage to their homes,” said Perrine.
Cape Advisors’ contractor Racanelli Construction did make alterations to how they were installing the pilings, said Perrine, adding Cape Advisors has agreed to work with neighboring homeowners to ensure any damage is taken care of.
Now that the retaining wall is installed, the newest crop of complaints has come from a dust cloud that has made its home around the former factory building. This is due to restoration work on interior wooden beams which are being blasted with walnut shells instead of traditional sand. The method is meant to protect the historic wood, but is also viewed as a more environmentally friendly method of cleaning it.
However, Perrine said using this method coupled with the repointing of bricks throughout the building’s façade has resulted in dust clouds around the former factory building and affecting neighboring properties.
“We have had a number of complaints,” said Perrine who was planning to meet with project manager David Kronman and Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt on the Bulova property site this Thursday.
“The grinding of the mortar in the bricks could take as long as five weeks so it is a bit of a problem and we have to sit down and see what we can do to mitigate this,” said Perrine.