Two ST buildings left with no gas due to leak

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.

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7 thoughts on “Two ST buildings left with no gas due to leak

  1. People shouldn’t want this situation rushed, now that they know gas line repairs are needed. They’re safer because the gas is turned off. For most high rises, repairs and then restoration of gas typically take 60 days. Get a hot plate!

    • Agree with Epiphanymom. We have seen the disastrous outcomes that came from gas leak explosions in Harlem and on 2nd Ave. As big of an inconvenience as it might be, can you imagine what the damage would be if the time was not taken to fix this correctly?

  2. The Owner should provide a cash stipend ahead of time, so that working families who live in these buildings will have the resources they need to buy hot meals for their families. It is mildly offensive that you would simply tell these families to go out and “buy a hot plate”. Why not visit the affected buildings and make a charitable donation, instead of gloating. Check your privilege!

    • Dear, dear, dear– why the ad hominem attack? Hot plates are not automatically fire hazards, when used correctly. This is standard operation in public housing projects, which were built at the same time as ST, to provide hot plates during their sometimes months-long gas outages. If were impacted, I’d be pushing for a more significant rental discount/rebate during this outage.

  3. These are not public housing projects, though they are becoming to resemble them more and more. Hot plates are very dangerous, especially when there a elderly people or children around. Remember that horrendous fire in Williamsburg (I think it was Williamsburg; it was in one of the Hassidic neighborhoods) when 7 children lost their lives. It was just a few months ago.

    I believe the affected buildings are the same ones that were affected when the bunker was being built. They had to deal with noise, filth and toxic soil then, and now they have no gas. If ever there was a time for a rent strike, this is it!

  4. This is definitely grounds for a full abatement of rent, plus a stipend for hot meals and the inconvenience of not having laundry available. These are the same buildings that were affected by the noise and dust from the management office being constructed.

    There is a theory among the contractors that the gas leak arose because of that management office construction.

    Hot plates are not the solution

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