“I know lots about cranes and lots about building, and I am looking at that crane right now,” Trump, who is not associated with Extell Development’s One57 project, told CNBC. “I have a window that’s just about even with that crane and I was watching it yesterday, and they didn’t tie it down,” he said, adding that all of the crane’s weight is to the back, resulting in “a very precarious position.”
Crews are currently waiting for storm conditions to die down before they attempt to secure the boom. As of Tuesday afternoon, the partially collapsed crane was hanging over West 57th Street.
Trump also tweeted his doubts Tuesday morning:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the crane had passed an inspection on Friday before it buckled under fierce winds Monday afternoon, but Trump wasn’t buying it.
“Somebody made a big mistake,” Trump told CNBC. “I don’t know if it was inspection, because frankly, you can’t inspect all of the things you have to inspect in one or two hours.”
Real estate investor and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt defended Extell Development CEO Gary Barnett and crane operator Bovis Lend Lease on Bloomberg Television. “Other than the situation with the boom, the building has held up extremely well,” Sitt said, noting that the crane set-up at One57 was the same configuration used at One World Trade Center in preparation for the storm. “It’s put in what they call flex position, that allows the wind to move through, and… it’s supposed to allow (the crane) the flexibility not to snap.” Which, unfortunately in One57’s case, it did.
Sitt added that Barnett is “a first-class developer, Lend Lease is a first-class builder; you couldn’t pick a better group of people to be dealing with that.”
Hmm. We’ll just have to see how this pans out, while One57’s crane dangles limply in the sky. We’ve just got one more question for Mr. Trump…