NEW YORK (AP) — New York City officials have ordered the demolition of a brick building in Little Italy that until recently housed what was billed as the country's oldest cheese shop, Alleva Dairy.
The New York City Department of Buildings determined Friday that the building, located at the corner of Mulberry and Grand streets, must be razed because it is "significantly destabilized" and poses an imminent hazard to the public, WNBC reports.
A chunk of the building's brick facade fell off Wednesday, leaving a gaping hole that exposed its interior and also damaged a plywood barrier surrounding the structure.
City engineers conducted a detailed structural assessment. They found the partial collapse, along with a major renovation project at the site, destabilized the building by undermining structural steel columns and removing bracing necessary for stability, the news station reports.
City engineers concluded it was unsafe to allow construction workers back inside, and ordered the building's owners to plan for an emergency demolition, according to authorities cited by WNBC.
Alleva Dairy operated in the building for 130 years and was considered not only the oldest cheese shop in New York City but perhaps the oldest in America.
But the shop closed last March after struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, falling behind on its rent and eventually filing for bankruptcy. The shop has since found a new home in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, near MetLife Stadium.