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Monday, October 27, 2008

Gas Troubles



Three buildings in Stuyvesant Town--522, 524 and 526 20th Street--have been without gas since last Monday, October 20th. It appears that a tenant in one of the buildings alerted Stuyvesant Town to a smell of gas hanging in the air. The Fire Department arrived and confirmed that there was gas leak somewhere, which caused the shutdown of gas in all three buildings. Teams of contract plumbers, each escorted by a security guard and a locksmith, had to enter all apartments to begin a phase of installation of exterior shut-off values to the kitchen gas pipes and the removal of existing gas connections to residents' stoves. If a door to a resident's apartment was locked by a top, non-Stuy Town lock, the lock was broken to allow the gas team to enter.

Based on statements from the gas teams, residents were hopeful that the problems would be fixed by Wednesday, but that turned out to be, no surprise, a false hope. As of the following Monday night, October 27th, the work doesn't appear to be any closer to being finished, though landlord Tishman Speyer has informed tenants through the screen intercom system that "the first phase of work has passed testing."

With no gas, residents have no way to cook food or boil water, and must resort to a microwave, if they have one, to heat food. In the Election Room near 1st Ave, Tishman Speyer has been providing free dinner and breakfast for residents of the affected buildings, catered by Bruno's Deli, but dispensed with the breakfast by the end of the week.* At dinner time, the better food is quickly gone, leading residents to hustle over as soon as chow time begins (6PM) in hopes of getting a full meal. Last week sodas and canned beverage teas were provided, as well as bottled water, but today, Monday, only water was available.

No gas also means that residents of the affected buildings have no way of drying laundry in their buildings.

Obviously, the patience of residents is rapidly ebbing away.

Tishman Speyer's gas troubles may be far more impacting than the trouble at these three buildings. According to a quote on the Lux Living website, one of the plumbers informed a tenant that the gas line connections to apartments in the tenant's building were "illegal." This instantly brings to mind Tishman Speyer's recent pressurized wall fiasco. If the gas line connections to all apartments in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village are illegal, then the complex may well see a massive plumbing project that will make the pressurized wall problems seem trivial by comparison.

* Update: Tuesday, Oct. 28th. Residents were informed after 9AM via the screen intercom that breakfast was being served today, Tuesday, from 7AM to 9AM. In reality-- "had been served." Sorry if you missed it, folks.

2 comments:

AnnieMae said...

Rent Strike!

Daniel said...

If tenants think that gas problems are minor--think again. And a major plumbing job will lead to a HUGE MCI!