Residents from three different dwellings were still displaced from their houses in the Tremont section of the Bronx on the afternoon of Jan. 11, following the collapse of a retaining wall that damaged five residential buildings and three commercial properties on the block.
Just before 8 a.m. on Jan. 10, a 150-foot section of a retaining wall that bordered multiple properties behind Anthony Avenue in Tremont gave way and plummeted through a nearby auto shop while damaging other properties in the process, according to Department of Buildings (DOB) Deputy Press Secretary Ryan Degan.
There were no reported injuries — which was just dumb luck, employees of Carter Auto Repair said — but the residents of 1760, 1758 and 1756 Anthony Ave. were issued full vacate orders from the DOB “in the interest of public safety and due to the severe extent of the damage,” Degan said.
“The vacate order will remain in place until the building owners repair the property and ensure that it is both safe and code compliant,” he said.
Degan told the Bronx Times that all residents displaced by the collapse were offered emergency relocation assistance from the American Red Cross.
Another two residential buildings at 1752 and 1754 Anthony Ave. were damaged, as well as Carter Auto Repair at 1765 Carter Ave., and two other commercial properties at 1767 and 1769 Carter Ave.
Since the 150-foot stretch of wall sat on multiple private properties, Degan said it’s the joint responsibility of those property owners to “properly maintain the retaining wall in good condition.”
And while he said there hadn’t been a complaint about the wall filed with the DOB, inspectors determined it was “in a state of disrepair” and issued a partial vacate order for “multiple property lots” along Anthony Avenue that’s been in effect since Nov. 23, 2020.
“In addition to the vacate order, the owners of the various properties were ordered to file an engineering report with DOB and obtain construction permits to conduct repairs on the structure,” Degan said. “DOB never received applications for repairs of the retaining wall.”
Albeit on a smaller scale, the retaining wall is the second major structural collapse in the Bronx in the last month.
On Dec. 11, a seven-story building in Morris Heights partially collapsed — displacing more than 100 people and eliciting more than 80 FDNY units to respond. The DOB and Mayor Eric Adams announced the city had suspended the engineer for the building located at 1915 Billingsley Terrace, after he had misdiagnosed a load-bearing column as a decorative column in his plans. The investigation into the collapse was still ongoing before Christmas.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes