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1 year after NYC parking garage collapse, inspections at over 400 garages are past due. Here's what's being done.

Hundreds of NYC parking garages are past due on inspections
Hundreds of NYC parking garages are past due on inspections 03:27

NEW YORK -- One year ago, a deadly New York City parking garage collapse sparked calls for increased oversight, but CBS New York investigator Mahsa Saeidi has found inspections are past due for hundreds of garages across the city.

According to the Department of Buildings, over 400 garages have not completed mandatory inspections. More than 100 days have passed since the deadline, but the city says their enforcement plan is working.

Manager killed in Lower Manhattan parking garage collapse; neighbors displaced

Willis Moore never got to meet his grandchild. The beloved parking garage manager was killed when his workplace at 57 Ann St. collapsed.

Video from inside the garage captured that moment.

Dozens of heavy SUVs tumbled, sending four workers to the hospital.

The entire neighborhood was impacted, including the Cohen family, who lived on the block.

Adam Cohen says his kids were displaced for months, eventually forced to start again in a new home and at a new school.

"The impact on my children has been hard," he said. "That day in April changed my life."

How is NYC enforcing parking garage inspection requirements?

"Before your legislation, they weren't inspecting these garages?" Saeidi asked.

"There was no inspection of garages unless they were being built or major renovation," Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said.

When he was a council member, Levine co-sponsored a law that required periodic inspection of garages. Owners are now responsible for hiring engineers to find and fix unsafe conditions.

The first group mandated to be examined included 1,046 garages in Manhattan. Pictures in city records show what inspectors found -- structures cracked, concrete spalling and beams severely corroded.

Right now, 111 garages deemed unsafe by the DOB are partially closed off until repairs are made, but CBS New York Investigates has found not everyone is following the rules. There are 429 garages that still haven't done this inspection, even though the deadline was last year.

"That's not acceptable. This is a matter of safety," Levine said. "We need compliance, and if it takes stiffer fines to do it, then we've got to up those fines."

Right now, non-compliant garages face a fine of $1,000 a month.

Buildings commissioner Jimmy Oddo is in charge of getting the structures into compliance. Assistant commissioner Yegal Shamash oversees that effort.

"We are holding building owners responsible. Those building owners need to hire an engineer that's qualified to perform these inspections," Shamash said.

"Do you have any idea why they're not doing this? Do they not know about it? Do they not have the money to hire these inspectors?" Saeidi said.

"I think what's important to realize is yes, by the deadline, we had a certain number of reports come in. But since that deadline, we've had over 100 reports submitted to us," said Shamash.

Shamash says compliance just takes time. He points to the success the department has had with another program -- facade inspections. Unlike parking garages, that's been around for 44 years.

"We have a 96 percent compliance rate on facades, and we're very confident that we're going to get equal or even higher compliance rate for parking structures," Shamash said.

Adam Cohen hopes that's true, and that it happens, soon.

These garage inspections are due every six years. In the wake of the Ann Street collapse, there was a push to get eyes on all these structures sooner. That's why by Aug. 1, garage owners must conduct a visual inspection to catch any potentially urgent issues.

Do you have a story that needs investigating? Let us know.

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