County Construction Board to review Harmon Cove façade work

SECAUCUS – On Monday the Hudson County Construction Board heard complaints from Secaucus officials regarding recent renovations at Harmon Cove Towers (HCT), a condominium development on Meadowlands Parkway.
In 2004 the HCT condo association hired Castle Restoration and Construction and Falcon Engineering to oversee a $6 million façade restoration project that would repair balconies and re-point (realign the mortar of) bricks at the 562-unit development.
But as the restoration project neared completion early this year, several residents of the luxury housing complex began complaining of leaks in the ceilings and walls of their units. In a few extreme cases, the walls of some units even began separating from one another. More than 133 units have been affected, according to an April 2010 letter from HCT’s attorney to Falcon Engineering.
Fearing for their health and the value of their homes, a few HCT residents reached out to town officials for help.
The town’s own engineering firm, Remington & Vernick, did what it called a “cursory inspection” of the recent renovations and found numerous problems with the work that was done.
Vincent Prieto, the local construction code official, subsequently wrote violations against the contractors, and he said Tuesday that he may levy fines against the companies. The fines could be as much as $2,000 a week.
An engineer with Falcon has fired back, however, stating that the work contracted was not meant to be comprehensive renovation of the façade, and the condo association rejected many company’s recommendations in an effort to save money.
The County Construction Board, a panel of building professionals which investigates alleged construction code violations, is now reviewing the alleged violations at HCT.
At Monday’s hearing a lawyer for engineers was successful in getting the matter adjourned until next month.
The County Construction Board will now weigh evidence in the case on Mon., Oct. 4. – E. Assata Wright

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