To prepare for Advance Realty’s excavation at 14th Street and Willow Avenue in Hoboken, crews used a 39-inch diameter drill to build a cement wall in the ground around the perimeter of the site. — Courtesy: Chip D’Angelo
By Joshua Burd
For all of the engineering prowess that it took to excavate the site of Advance Realty’s new apartment building in Hoboken, there are some things you just can’t plan for.
Such as Hurricane Sandy.
The digging phase of the excavation was just underway when the superstorm struck in November 2012. Advance’s site at 14th Street and Willow Avenue was not spared from the flooding that ravaged most of Hoboken — delaying the project four weeks as crews pumped out the hole.
Then came the massive water main break some four months later, crippling the city once again.
“We were 20 feet deep at that point and it filled 10 feet, put over 2 million gallons of water into the hole,” said Kurt Padavano, Advance’s chief operating officer. “And all of the equipment — the backhoes and everything else that were in the hole — flooded.
“We just lost all of our equipment.”
The second incident set the project back another five or six weeks, he recalled. But Padavano will tell you that Harlow, the 140-unit luxury apartment building that now stands at the site, was worth the wait.