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Work Halted At Facebook’s Hudson Yards HQ, Other Sites After City Audit

Rendering of 50 Hudson Yards

A number of construction sites around New York City that had been given permission to move forward have reportedly been halted after the city discovered some of them were flouting the rules.

The Department of Buildings ran an audit and found sites were breaking the state’s rules, The Real Deal reports, citing an email the agency wrote to owners.

“A number exceeded what was allowed for in the guidance,” the DOB wrote, per the publication. “And as a result, emails were sent to applicants informing them that their approval is no longer valid.”

Related and Mitsui Fudosan's office development at 50 Hudson Yards was one of the sites to have its approval removed, per TRD, and it is unclear how many total sites were halted. The 2.8M SF office tower, which is under construction and slated to house the future New York headquarters of BlackRock and Facebook, has an estimated construction price tag close to $4B, a city record. It is slated for a 2022 delivery.

In March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down all construction except work deemed “essential” — namely emergency sites, public works, hospitals, affordable housing and homeless shelters. Earlier this month, the guidance was adjusted to allow for projects on essential businesses that were already underway.

Around 5,200 construction projects were operating again as of Tuesday, The New York Times reports. Cuomo said Tuesday that a reopening of the state will be done region-by-region and can start as a phased-in process once there has been a 14-day decline in the region's hospitalization rate.

The first phase would feature construction and manufacturing, which Cuomo said are lower risk. At the moment, the end date for the state’s stay-at-home order is May 15. Cuomo indicated upstate New York would open first, and the city and its suburbs — still the hardest-hit region in the country — would come later.

A spokesperson for the Department of Buildings told TRD in a statement that it has “implemented several layers of review and auditing to ensure that only essential construction projects and necessary emergency work can proceed.”