Abandoned TILTING £240m skyscraper dubbed the 'leaning tower' still looms half-finished over iconic skyline 10 YEARS on | The Sun

NEW York may have one of the world's most stunning skylines but an unattended eye-sore is blighting the landscape.

Skyscrapers and other tall buildings which graze the clouds and can be seen from miles away are an iconic part of New York City.

But nestled somewhere in amongst the Manhattan infrastructure is an abandoned, tilted skyscraper which has been dubbed 'The Leaning Tower of FiDi'.

Construction has been halted since late 2020 after developers realised the building had a 3-inch tilt to the north.

The untouched 200,000 square-foot structure has since remained in limbo amid years of legal battles.

Construction began on the $300million (£240million) project in July 2015 and it quickly became one of the most lucrative real estate deals in the city.

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161 Maiden Lane, also known as 1 Seaport, was set to contain 80 condos which cost up to $20million (£16million) each.

The majority of these were quickly snapped up after prospective residents were promised a health spa, fitness centre and infinity pool, as well as a luxury yacht service at no extra cost.

The building would offer stunning views of the city and Manhattan's waterfront, having gained a prime spot over the East River.

But after the 3-inch tilt issue came to fruition, Pizzarotti LLC, the building's contractor, launched a lawsuit against the developer, Fortis.

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It was first noticed by a subcontractor in April 2018, after it allegedly caused difficulties when installing the glass curtain wall.

Pizzarotti and Fortis went to war in what became the building's biggest issue in a never-ending rabbit hole of legal battles and architectural spats that have failed to be fully resolved since.

“It’s turned into one of those symbols of what could go wrong in a project,” The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani told The B1M, in an appearance on its new mini-documentary on the project.

However, it isn't the first time that construction has been halted in the stop-start project.

In 2017, one of the builders plummeted 27 stories to his death while working on the eye-sore.

Juan Chonillo, 43, was working on the 29th floor when he fell onto street scaffolding after failing to clip in his harness.

Construction was then halted for several months, until January 2018.

But it wasn't long before work was bought to a standstill yet again after a crane operator caused significant damage by smashing building materials into the 34th floor.

This sent concrete plummeting onto the street below but miraculously no one was left injured or worse.

Nonetheless, the Department of Buildings issued several stop work orders through the month.

That's according to The Real Deal, who also said that a lack of vertical engineering put constraints on developing the skyscraper in a hyper-dense environment.

Ray Builders took over from Pizzarotti as general contractor in 2020 but soon stopped work yet again by July that year.

Ray Builders claimed that Fortis failed to pay its workers before resigning as contractor, before Fortis put the blame on Bank Leumi for not following through on their loan deal agreement.

Bank Leumi lent Fortis a $90million (£72million) construction loan but attempted to retract it by the end of the year, according to PincusCo.

As of February 2021, all but six of the condo buyers had cancelled their contracts.

And as for the building itself, it remains abandoned and unfinished, with no direction for its future yet decided.

It isn't the only skyscraper to go through similar circumstances and become abandoned, however.

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