Concrete Blocks Causing Problems In Federal Plaza

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Robert Orr's building at 839 Chapel Street overlooks the Federal Plaza next door and is four stories high. So you can imagine his surprise when Orr saw teenagers on top of his building.

    "It's really like watching a Spiderman movie. They're able to jump up full stories, four stories, our building is four stories tall, they've been up on top of it," said Orr.

    Alfredo Garcia owns an apartment building at 831-833 Chapel Street and has also seen the unexpected visitors. He even called the cops, but says they weren't able to do anything.

    "They come from the back, and they jump from building to building," said Garcia.

    The teens are using the concrete blocks piled on the side of Federal Plaza to hoist themselves up on the rooftops. Alderman Doug Hausladen says it's creating all types of problems for the businesses and the people living along lower Chapel Street.

    "Disturbing tenants and my residents on Chapel Street by peering in through skylights, as well as messing with some mechanical equipment on rooftops," said Hausladen, who represents Ward 7.

    He’s calling for a meeting with the U.S. General Services Administration, which runs Federal Plaza. He's already been in contact with a point person in New Haven and says he would like to see the concrete blocks removed or at least not stacked as high. They're part of a larger renovation project at the Plaza, which Hausladen says will also be a topic of discussion.

    "I think the best way to move forward is for the GSA and the community to work together and find a plan that works for everyone, so we can reactivate the Federal Plaza into making it a wonderful public space that it is," he said.

    The U.S. General Services Administration issued a statement saying the barriers, which weigh over 2,000 pounds each and cannot be moved easily, were brought in for a construction project.

    "Patrick Sclafani, of the U.S. General Services Administration, said that the agency will rearrange the stacked barriers to address the concerns expressed by adjacent property owners. "We are committed to being good neighbors and will continue to work with local officials and property owners," said Sclafani."

    Hausladen says when he meets with the GSA, he’ll also bring up the issue of people parking on the plaza.