Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections appears to be cracking down on the contractors behind Wednesday’s deadly building collapse. The renovation of a three-story residence in Center City was served with a cease-and-desist notice yesterday evening.
The property, at 320 Butler Avenue, has an interior demolition permit issued to Plato Marinakos and Griffin Campbell Construction. That’s the same team behind the botched demolition job at 2136 Market St. that resulted in the deaths of 6 people and the injury of 13 others.
L&I cited work exceeding the scope of the interior demolition permit.
Neighbors on Butler Avenue say they’re concerned.
“If you look at the inside, there’s not a lot of structural support,” said Sandra, an immediate neighbor who refused to provide her last name. “It made me a little nervous, to say the least.”
“Obviously we do have some concerns,” said neighbor Steve Clyman, “particularly with a lot of kids on the street, and kids playing out here.”
The façade of the residence has been removed, as have all of the interior floors. The roof and exterior walls are still intact.
Clyman had reached out to L&I after hearing news of the collapse yesterday. Peeking past the blue tarp that’s standing in for the building’s façade, Clyman says the walls appear to have little support.
“We looked at the freestanding wall on that side of the building here and we became really concerned,” Clyman said.
Neighbors say the project has been idle for about two weeks. Sandra says she spoke with some of the crew days before they left.
“They haven’t been working here because [Campbell] needed his whole team over on Market Street,” Sandra said the crew told her. “He was going to bring his whole team over here once they finished the Market Street job.”
The Philly Post is reporting that a Center City bar, whose work by Campbell Construction had already been completed, was also shuttered by L&I.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald also told reporters that the city is suspending Campbell Construction projects elsewhere in the city. Inspections uncovered violations at 1300 Walnut Street, as well, citing electrical and plumbing work being done without proper permits, and other work being done differing from the details of the permit.
Inspections at two other Griffin Campbell sites did not reveal any further violations. The department is also scrutinizing all active private demolition sites throughout the city, which it expects to wrap up by next week.
“The Department will continue to be proactive in ensuring the safety of all private construction and demolition sites throughout the city,” L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said in a statement.