Business at Lord & Taylor continued Friday afternoon despite a partial building collapse nearby at 25 West 38th Street – less than 100 yards from the retailer. Fire trucks surrounded the area, which was cordoned off. One person was killed and a second person was seriously injured and was being treated at the scene, according to the FDNY.
It is believed that the person injured and the one killed were construction workers who were working on the building’s demolition, according to the FDNY.
The FDNY responded to a call of a collapsed building around 10:28 a.m. Over 20 units responded to the scene of the building, which had been under construction.
The collapse occurred adjacent to one of New York’s busiest streets – Fifth Avenue. Traffic was blocked on 38th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. And 39th Street was also partially blocked just West of Lord & Taylor as the fire department had a ladder truck positioned along an adjacent building. By 1 p.m., traffic on Fifth Avenue was clogged, and onlookers careened for a view of the accident.
People continued to shop inside Lord & Taylor, and saleswomen on the second floor said they heard fire trucks and were trying to get a better look outside the building.
The building is owned by Fortuna Realty Group LLC, which reportedly bought the property for $12 million in 2012. A 27-story Aloft New York Midtown, a Starwood Hotels and Resorts property, is expected to open next fall.
Northeast Service Interiors, a demolition company working on the site, had no comment.
A spokesman for Lord & Taylor said Friday, “First, our thoughts go out to the injured, and our sympathies to the family of the deceased. The safety and security of our customers and associates is of the utmost concern. We have confirmed that our building is safe and was not directly impacted. While our entrance on 38th Street is closed, our Fifth Avenue and 39th Street entrances remain open. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”