Earlier today, repair crews came to fix the sidewalks on Madison Street right outside the coop. Bikes attached to the street posts there had their locks cut and were loaded into a white East River pick-up truck.
Give management a call if one of these bikes is yours: 212-677-5858.
The board of directors distributed their second newsletter of the year today. Among the highlights:
Community room renovation cost was $8,500 more than original quote of $73,000 — the additional money was used for new chairs, tables, and window treatments.
The coop has refinanced its underlying mortgage of $23.5 million with an interest rate reduction from 4% to 3.5%. The new financing allows for a $5 million line of credit that the newsletter says “serves as a reserve fund.”
Looks like that reserve fund will come in handy, as laundry room / sewer reconstruction costs are adding up. Building 4 cost a total of $283,700. Building 2 was higher, at $469,500. (Building 3 is set to start Monday, and building 1 will be next.)
Not surprisingly, the sewer disaster repaired in buildings 4 and 2 over the past three months has been discovered in building 3 as well. The laundry room will be closed starting on Monday for six weeks or more.
The City of New York requires us to clean the water tanks each year. This work has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, from 9:00 A.M. till 9:00 P.M. Both the hot and cold water will be shut.
While cleaning the tanks, we will also do necessary repairs in the laundry room of Building 2, which requires water to be shut. Consequently, both laundry rooms in Building 1 and 2 will be closed during these repairs.
If the work is completed sooner than expected the water will be returned at that time. PLEASE KEEP ALL YOUR FAUCETS IN THE CLOSED POSITION, and make sure you prepare some water for personal use before the shutdown.
If anyone has special needs that should be addressed, please call the Office, we will accommodate, and, if necessary, bathrooms are located in the East River Community Room at 477 FDR Drive.
We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
It’s also worth remembering that whenever the water is shut off in the building, some residue can come through the pipes when they’re turned back on and clog the screens (aerators) in faucets and shower heads. As a result, you may experience low water pressure. Often, you can clean those screens yourself without the need of a plumber.
Building 1 laundry room will be shut down Wednesday along with all hot water — which means cooperators from building 2, where laundry room excavation continues, will have to cross Grand Street if they want clean clothes.
Here’s the basic message from General Manager Harold Jacob: if you thought building 4’s laundry room was a catastrophe, wait til you see building 2!
June 16, 2015
TO: EAST RIVER COOPERATORS
573 / 575 / 577 GRAND STREET
D / E / F – SECTIONS
FROM: HAROLD JACOB, GENERAL MANAGER
RE: DRAIN PIPES REPAIR UPDATE
The laundry room in Building 2 remains closed due to the fact that all the drain lines that feed into the main sewer line are rotted away.
This job is more complicated than in Building 4 which recently had similar leaks, because when they built Building 2, they buried all the lines under the ground, in some areas it is about 7 feet deep. All the excavation is being done by hand and buckets. We have already dug into the filter room, pump room and electric room. We have exposed all the lines there. We are now digging into the laundry room. We have already located 5 leaking lines and the water continues to flow from under the laundry room. In addition, we found 3 buried electric lines which have to be replaced as well. There will also be a need to shut down the water when we replace one of the main drain lines. We will notify you in advance.
Our plumber estimates that it is going to take approximately 5 weeks more to identify and repair all of the leaks. We will then have to backfill each of the holes, pour concrete and replace the tiles in the laundry room. The plumber and the supplier estimate we will not totally complete this job until the week of July 20. We hope to locate all of the leaks within this time frame. Any cooperator who wishes to see the excavation can call the office and I will arrange a walk-through.
We regret the inconvenience it causes but unfortunately there is no way to plan ahead on how to determine that the water and/or electric lines would rot away.
In the meantime you may continue using any of the other laundry rooms in Buildings 1, 3 or 4.
As predicted last week, building 2 is about to get the same laundry room overhaul that building 4 received over the last month. A memo today from management indicates that work will start on Monday. No timeline for finishing has been set.
Residents of building 4 received this email today:
May 21, 2015
FROM: HAROLD JACOB, GENERAL MANAGER
RE: BUILDING 4 LAUNDRY ROOM
After an arduous period of pipe and floor repair and replacement, we are happy to report the reopening of the laundry room in Building 4, on Friday, May 22, at 6 p.m.
As you know, Building 4 underwent a sewer line rupture requiring extensive replacement of the main sewer pipe for the entire building, coupled with the total rebuilding and replacement of all nine drain lines under the laundry room floor. It was a very big job and as the work proceeded underground we continued to find new problems and it was the determination of Management and the Board to fix and repair all these problems at one time.
Once the pipes had been removed and replaced, the floor in the laundry required new concrete and tiles. It was after that process that most of the laundry machines were placed back and connected. A few machines will not be able to be hooked up until June 3, but we wanted to reopen the room as soon as possible.
Due to the length of time these repairs took, we understand the frustration cooperators experienced not having access to their laundry room, but there was no alternative, and we wanted the work to be done now and be done right.
Our buildings are sixty years old and though we do not look or wish for things to happen, we realize that when they do, events will inconvenience cooperators and disrupt our normal routines, until repairs are complete. Our pipes and sewer lines, as we all know, are mostly behind our apartment walls or underground and cannot be checked without digging up our property or breaking everyone’s kitchen and bathroom walls. This prohibitive cost and destruction are things that we will of course not subject our cooperators to.
We hope you enjoy the repaired laundry room and apologize for the discomfort this outage has caused. We will work to keep the new laundry room clean and trouble free for your use for the next sixty years!
Thank you for your patience and we very much appreciate your support and understanding during this repair period.
The emergency repair work in building 4 has left some cooperators wondering whether it’s an isolated incident or a cry for help from our 60-year-old infrastructure.
Is building 2 next?
The laundry room in building 2 now has sheet metal covering a large corner of the floor under the bulletin board. Has some excavation been done to test the sewer pipes or the integrity of the concrete floor?
And what about the broken concrete and exposed re-bar supporting the washing machines? That’s been there for a long time, but now all these cracks start to look more ominous.
Directors and management should make an effort right away to address the huge cost of repairs in building 4, assess the structural integrity of the other three buildings, and reassure cooperators that it’s safe to do their laundry.