By Sabina Mollot
Since October 31, a gas leak at 272 and 274 First Avenue has left residents without gas in their buildings. The laundry room has been out of use as well since then.
In a flyer that was posted by CompassRock on November 4, management explained that the shutdown was done by Con Ed so emergency repairs could be conducted on the main gas line.
The note to residents went on to say management was working with the utility to ensure that gas would be restored “as safely and as quickly as possible.”
However, the memo also said that gas isn’t expected to be turned on again until Con Ed approves each apartment line after repairs.
Sidney Alvarez, a spokesperson for Con Ed, said on the 31st, the utility had been called about a gas odor and upon arrival, inspectors found that there was a gas leak on the extension service traced to a gas meter room.
After that, Alvarez said, management had to hire plumbers (since the project involved the buildings’ pipes) and file that work with the Department of Buildings, and only then could Con Ed step in to do pressure and integrity testing.
On Friday, November 6, Alavarez told Town & Village it was still “very early in the repair process with the plumber.”
As of Wednesday, November 11, another spokesperson for Con Ed said the utility still hadn’t received paperwork from CWCapital, indicating that plumbing work was done so Con Ed could schedule its inspections and “do a final turn-on. Until we get that paperwork matters will not move ahead on our end,” said the rep, Bob McGee.
Meanwhile, residents in the impacted buildings will get partial rent abatements (25 percent of the rent for each day without gas), according to management’s flyer.
The notice from CompassRock also warned tenants contractors may have to enter apartments without giving prior notice as repairs are conducted, though they’d be accompanied by a Public Safety department officer. Pets, they added, would need to be secured so contractors can make the repairs. If repairs to apartments are needed as a result of the gas work, appointments would be scheduled “immediately” after gas is restored. To do laundry, residents were redirected to the laundry room at 444 East 20th Street.
Since the gas was shut down, one resident, Michael Alcamo, told Town & Village he’s been worried about safety in the complex considering the deadly East Village gas explosion earlier this year. He recommended that management inspect all the gas lines and equipment, as a precaution. In the meantime, like neighbors, he’s been eating cereal or going out to eat.
“Eating cold food for breakfast and dinner for two weeks is a huge and unacceptable inconvenience for working families,” Alcamo said. “The owner needs to compensate tenants for the lack of gas, for our actual costs of eating hot meals and for the days on which steam heating was also not provided. Posting a notice in the elevator does not release the owner of its legal duties to compensate tenants.”
A spokesperson for CWCapital didn’t respond to a request for comment.