Un-safety dance! Officials: Party planned for PLG construction site doesn’t have permits

Hard hat territory: The Sonic Jungle’s own promotional material shows the Flatbush Avenue venue as a construction site.
Brooklyn Paper
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The city may pull the plug on a massive party planned for a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens construction site on Feb. 25, because buildings officials say the property isn’t up to code and the organizers don’t have the necessary permits.

“The Sonic Jungle” — billed as a fusion of “wellness,” art, and music where disk jockeys will share space with meditation lounges, herbal-tea bars, and actual bars serving regular old booze — is scheduled to bring 4,000 people to three floors of the under-construction residential development at 510 Flatbush Ave. from 9 pm through 4 am, with subsequent events planned for March 11 and April 15.

“The pop-up event series is carefully curated to reconnect us to our cultural roots, to roots of the unknown, and to the roots of the earth itself,” reads the mysterious press materials prepared by the promoters.

The organizers claim they spent a year sound-proofing the space and getting all their permits in order, including obtaining a temporary certificate of occupancy declaring that the building between Lincoln Road and Empire Boulevard is up to code, according to spokeswoman Jessica Gray — although she said they couldn’t provide them to this paper until next week.

But both the Department of Buildings and the State Liquor Authority deny issuing any permits for the event, and say the structure doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy, temporary or otherwise.

The buildings department will send an inspector to the work-site in the coming days to determine if any un-permitted construction related to the party has occurred, said agency spokesman Andrew Rudansky.

The news should come as a relief to some Flatbush Avenue neighbors, who predict it is a recipe for disaster either way.

“There’s gonna be hell to pay,” said William Blue, who lives a few doors down from the proposed “cultural oasis pop-up.” “They’re going to be running all around, going in the hallways, doing drugs and drinking. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

But others were looking forward to an all-night rave-a-thon on their block.

“There’s a lot of different people in the neighborhood now — of course people will like it,” said Akeem Morris. “I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Even with permits, one-off dance clubs don’t require anywhere the same level community consultation as permanent venues, and the city has had to shut several previously approved parties in recent years after they were found to be fire hazards.

Firefighters party-pooped a 2015 Halloween rave at a toxic Greenpoint factory, and twice killed the music at Williamsburg pop-up nightclub the Brooklyn Mirage last summer.

The Sonic Jungle’s organizers say they do eventually plan a full-time club — the Lefferts-Gardens series is just a preview of a “permanent manifestation of the Sonic Jungle vision” for Bushwick in 2018, which will house artists in residence and cooperative workspaces by day and host “purposeful parties” by night, promoters said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sasha from Crown Heights says:
What a shame in this post-truth era, that the media outlets we rely on for useful information continue to distribute #alternativefacts !!!!!! This site has had work permits to do construction for 3 years. AND you can't get a TPA approved until a day or 2 before any event. Unbelievable that my local newspaper would try to bring down an event that is trying to create positive impact for our community and our planet. Shameful.
Feb. 15, 2017, 3:23 pm
Colin Mixson from Brooklyn Paper says:
Hi Sasha,

Department of Buildings — the city agency responsible for issuing many of the permits necessary for this event — would disagree with you on some of your points. Temporary Place of Assembly permits can be applied for at any time, but not later than 10 days before the event in question. Furthermore, I was told the city will not issue TPAs for events at sites that do not have a Certificate of Occupancy, which the city is adamant in claiming 510 Flatbush Ave. has not received.

Given the date, and information I received from the city, you may already be too late applying for the TPA. Either way, I would get on that.
Feb. 15, 2017, 3:39 pm
Sasha from Crown Heights says:
Hi Colin,

TPAs are filed within two weeks of the event, and are issued days prior to. I'm not sure what stage of approval this site is in for these events, but your failed attempt to provide adequate information about the process, and subsequent claim that these people are deliberately not doing their due diligence is unfounded. Additionally, I've looked up this company (very cool! thanks for the tip!) and it sounds VERY different from the picture you are trying to paint. Why is your company trying to sabotage something that has clear potential to bring much needed good?
Feb. 15, 2017, 4:05 pm
Tyler from pps says:
It costs *extra* if you apply for a TPA permit less than 10 days in advance of an event.

It would be CRAZY if you could only apply for a Temporary Place of Assembly permit within 2 weeks of an event.... Sometimes events cost hundred of thousands of dollars in non-refundable expenses. You think ANYONE would go through all the planning and shelling out huge amounts of cash without an approved permit in their hand?

A organization sells, say, 5000 tickets for an event months and months in advance... but they don't know if the event will actually happen until a few days before? Ummm... NO.
Feb. 15, 2017, 5:45 pm
Colin Mixson from Brooklyn Paper says:
Hey Ty,

You're absolutely right. Applicants can apply after the 10-day deadline in exchange for an additional $100 fee for every day that's passed beyond the limit.

You can read about it on the city's website:

Again, the property still requires a Certificate of Occupancy. The city isn't going to hand out permits for buildings that aren't designated as up to code.
Feb. 16, 2017, 1:39 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:

Just Go Away
Feb. 18, 2017, 11:06 pm
Skribbelz from Bed-Stuy says:
Haha - the organizers just have to make sure they pay all the right people. The NYPD, FDNY, and DOB all need to be greased up before this sort of event can go down. The venue can be 100% permitted, inspected and approved, only to be shut down hours before the doors open. Guiliani may have "cleaned up the NYPD" but a lot of those old-timers are still on the force, and they want their cut. I've seen first-hand, the NYPD and FDNY shake down promoters for $5000, and then shut down the party when they didn't pay, at a fully licensed venue. Plus now there are well-heeled out-of-town NIMBY gentrifiers who move into trashy industrial areas and then complain about the noise at 3am. Snobs.
Feb. 20, 2017, 9:46 pm
Skribbelz from Bed-Stuy says:
Also, I just checked the Department of Buildings website, and there is no COO. On the contrary, an application filed on 2/13 was denied on 2/17: CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY - NONE/ILLEGAL/CONTRARY TO CO: OBSERVED APTS 4E AND 5E OCCUPIED WITHOUT CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY AND FINAL SIGN OFF.. VIOLATION SERVED.
Feb. 21, 2017, 2:54 pm
Skribbelz from Bed-Stuy says:
Aaaand they've gotten their COO permit approved. Safe to buy tickets now :-}
Feb. 22, 2017, 5:49 pm
Chase Morgan from All of them says:
Hey Colin your story sucks, nobody cares what your opinion is except the whiny snobs like you that write this crap. Get a life....or a real job
Feb. 25, 2017, 12:24 am
Scott from Cobble Hill says:
Colin, great article. I commend you on your devotion to community journalism. You are simply stating facts, all of which are true, and are providing your readers with the opportunity to see for themselves the lack of permits on the DOB's website. Everyone above who is coming after your writing and more shockingly, your life and character should be ashamed. They must be sour that the party was indeed pulled at the "last minute" even though your story came out weeks earlier. Keep up the good work and ignore those who are negative. They have their own issues to work out :)
Feb. 27, 2017, 12:30 pm

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