Kiferbaum’s River North condo project damaged building next door, lawsuit claims

Joseph Kiferbaum and 56 West Huron

Contractors for Kiferbaum Development Group damaged a neighboring building while constructing the developer’s 13-story River North condo tower, according to a lawsuit.

Kiferbaum is building a 11-unit luxury condominium building at 56 West Huron Street, the site of a former church. Work on the project started in October 2017, and excavation of the site began shortly after, according to lawsuit filed in Cook County Court.

The excavation work was performed within 5 feet of the neighboring 58 West Huron, an office building built in 1892. Shoddy work on behalf of the contractor, Precision Excavation, caused the neighboring building’s foundation to become exposed, the lawsuit claims.

Work at the site caused 58 West Huron’s foundation to be unsupported both laterally and vertically, and the foundation shifted, hurting the structural integrity of the building, according to the suit.

The foundation was exposed to “excessive vibration” that also caused cracks in the masonry, skewed doors, cracked drywall, cracked foundation walls and separated masonry from doorways, the lawsuit claims.

The excavation work was done without proper “shoring” of 58 West Huron’s foundation, and workers failed to properly inform the building’s owners of the planned work, the lawsuit says.

Kiferbaum, Precision Excavation and general contractor Gilbane Building Company are listed as defendants in the suit brought by the owners of 58 West Huron. Requests for comment were not immediately returned by any of the defendants.

Called 56 West Huron, Kiferbaum’s development calls for 10 three-bedroom condos and one four-bedroom penthouse with direct elevator access to each unit, according to its website. Units range in price from $1.4 to $2 million, with the penthouse price available upon request.

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