Pizzeria Panic: Buildings on W. 14th Street Evacuated After Partial Basement Wall Collapses

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | A partial collapse of the shared basement wall of a pizzeria on Friday afternoon caused the building to shake and vibrate, on the border of Chelsea and Greenwich Village, prompting the emergency evacuation of it and the buildings neighbors.

Early Saturday evening, workers could be seen erecting a plywood construction fence around the northwest corner of 14th Street and Seventh Avenue. The emergent fence was made to take up about half the width of the sidewalk and was also going to close off the subway entrance/exit at that corner for the No. 1, 2 and 3 trains.

The partial collapse occurred under PizzaNY, according to the Buildings Department. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)
Workers erected a fence around the site. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)
Several businesses were also evacuated. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)

A bystander who was watching the scene and said he worked at a building two blocks north said the issue happened around 4 p.m. Friday. He said some of the older residential tenants upstairs were evacuated to a Brooklyn Red Cross shelter, which he disapprovingly noted is “far away” for them.

One of the workers installing the fence explained, gesturing towards the pizzeria, that a basement wall on the west side of the site had collapsed. But he said the buildings would not have to be demolished. When asked how long the repairs would take, he shrugged and said he didn’t know.

The entrance/exit to the No. 1, 2 and 3 subway station around the corner was going to be fenced off – along with Krispy Krunchy Chicken. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)
Much of the sidewalk was going to be closed off by the emergency fence. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)
The Donut Pub building was the first to have protective scaffolding. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)

The site is made up of a number of small buildings, including 201 and 203 W. 14th St. and 64, 66A and 66 Seventh Ave. Affected stores, which were also evacuated by the emergency, include the Donut Pub, PizzaNY, MomenTea/Pokemoment and a nail salon and spa. By Friday night, full scaffolding and fencing had already been erected in front of the Donut Pub building at 203 W. 14th St.

The Department of Buildings website records a “complaint” for 201 W. 14th St. Friday at 4:39 p.m. regarding the wall collapse, however, noting that it was later “resolved.” The site says the “structural stability” of a party wall – that is, a wall shared by two buildings – was “compromised”.

“Shaking/vibrating/stuct building [sic] stability affected,” the DOB site says of the original complaint. “Partial collapse of the shared rubble foundation wall making the premises unsafe to occupy.”

The accident caused the evacuation of several buildings and stores. (Photo by Le Soleil du Village)

A full evacuation order has been issued, according to DOB

The owner of 201 W. 14th St. is listed as Mardan Realty Co., LLC.

The DOB site also contains an “open” violation for the same property from Sept. 30, with an agency inspector noting, “Failure to keep building up to code…. I observed in the basement of the Pizza NY store having an open sewer line. Repair and/or replace. The balance owing on the violation fine is $625.