Power Back at Stuy Town, and Residents Will Get a Rent Break

IMG_0166Molly Socha

After a tough week, tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have caught a break: they won’t have to pay rent for the days they were without electricity, heat, and elevators, according to an e-mail from Andrew MacArthur, managing director of CWCapital.

Residents who were unable to move into or out of the complex while elevators were down will also get a rent abatement, said the letter from management, sent Wednesday.

Todd Gibson, who rode out Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent blackout in Stuy Town with his family, said the offer to apply a credit to December or January bills was “very generous”: “It wasn’t really necessary for them to do and I was very impressed that they did it,” he said.

IMG_0172Molly Socha Downed tree.

Stuyvesant Town lost power last Monday after 8 p.m.; as services were restored, management sent out daily Twitter and e-mail updates along with a matrix showing the status of electricity, heat, gas, water, and elevators in each building. In addition, residents shared their own GoogleDoc spreadsheet outlining the status of services like cable, internet, and cell reception.

According to last night’s alert, power, heat and hot water have now been restored to the complex’s 110 buildings, with two buildings running on generators and only one without elevator service. 20 of the buildings were expected to get heat back within five days and 15 were expected to regain hot water within the same time period.

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Lauren Phillips, a resident of building 651, found the timeline helpful: “They said you wouldn’t have it for five days, and then I had heat and hot water sooner than they said.” She was also “pleasantly surprised” by the rent abatement.

But before there were pleasant surprises, there were setbacks, starting with exploding manhole covers. “I watched as our Director of Operations had a manhole cover explode next to him as he struggled with workers from ConEd to restore power,” Mr. MacArthur wrote in Wednesday’s e-mail.

An e-mail sent Saturday blamed Con Edison for similar incidents the previous day. “Despite numerous warnings to Con Edison that it was unsafe to turn on the power, Con Edison electrified all of the property last night, including those buildings with damaged electrical equipment; in addition, ConEd electrified their own power lines in the street which were not yet safe to operate.” The result, said the letter, was “several explosions under manhole covers along Avenue C,” in addition to a “potential fire hazard” in the basement of 6 Peter Cooper Road.

IMG_0180Molly Socha

Flooding forced Stuy Town’s residential services office to relocate to Oval Café. Neaby on Avenue C, the building where Eucena Garcia, a 19-year-old Pace student, has lived for six months was also damaged by flooding. As with six others, gas may not return to Ms. Garcia’s building for three weeks, but she said she was pleased with the communication between residents and management. “They were sending letters every night,” she said.

Besides, it could be worse: At 638 East 14th Street, across the way from Stuyvesant Town in the East Village, a friend of Ms. Phillips lamented, “I still don’t have power and I live across the street.”