Power's coming back on this weekend for most of SoPo in Manhattan, but that's not necessarily of help to the 130 or so flooded buildings that suffered mechanical or other failures as a result of the seawater. Exacerbating an already bad situation for residents of these buildings: poor communication from management companies. Got intel or memos to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity guaranteed.
Residents at 2 Gold Street in the Financial District are scrambling this morning to get into their building and get vital belongings out before the doors lock for weeks. This comes after word from building management company TF Cornerstone via an instant-classic memo yesterday that, "We anticipate that it will be at least two (2) weeks, possibly longer, before we fully address the any [sic] damages to the building systems and building operations are restored."
Not noted in the memo, but spread on Twitter last night and this morning, was word that before the building locked down for that minimum two (2) week duration, a small window of opportunity exists to get in and get belongings out. Residents clever enough to have figured this out, and with means to get to the Financial District, aren't waiting. A Curbed tipster who lives in the building emails:
This is the last email we got from building management. [below]
My friends went back to 2 Gold this afternoon and sent me a photo of the notice posted outside the building (on twitter) & told me the doormen said the building would be shut down for about 2 weeks - in the next 24 to 48 hrs- and we should come get anything we need. He told me there are pretty bad fumes, people have paper towels and masks over their faces in the stairways.
Haven't heard any of this officially from TFC yet besides this ambiguous email we got earlier this afternoon. let me know if you have more questions, I'll be venturing down tomorrow morning!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "TF Cornerstone Inc."
Date: Nov 1, 2012 2:07 PM
Subject: Notification of New Library Document: 2 Gold & 201 Pearl Street - Post Hurricane Sandy
A Library Document titled '2 Gold & 201 Pearl Street - Post Hurricane Sandy' has been added/revised. Click on the link below (or copy and paste it into your browser's address bar) to view it. M E M O R A N D U M TO: All Residents FROM: 2 GOLD ST. L.L.C. & 201 PEARL L.L.C. By: TF Cornerstone Inc., As Agent DATE: November 1, 2012 RE: 2 Gold & 201 Pearl Street – Post Hurricane Sandy Please be advised that unfortunately, 2 Gold Street and 201 Pearl Street are two of the many buildings in Manhattan that lost power during Hurricane Sandy. Consolidated Edison advises that it may take several days or more to restore electric service to Manhattan. In addition to the loss of power, the basement and garage were flooded. We are working around the clock to pump out the water while simultaneously inspecting all building systems. We anticipate that it will be at least two (2) weeks, or possibly longer, before we fully address the any damages to the building systems and building operations are restored. We understand that the last several days have been difficult and we hope that everyone and their families made it safely through the storm. We will provide updates via BuildingLink as additional information becomes available. Thank you, Building Management
Date: November 2, 2012, 9:50:38 AM EDT
Subject: Fwd: Notification of New Library Document: 2 Gold & 201 Pearl Street - Post Hurricane Sandy
I talked to someone from TF and they said the power system in the building has been completely destroyed at 2 gold. There is going to be a two week assessment period after which they will begin rebuilding the power system. He said we won't have power for a very long time. Like much longer than 2-3 weeks
Please do not use my name if you post this, but as residents we don't know what to do. Do we pay rent? Why aren't they offering any assistance. This is a travesty.
Just left 2 gold. Door men are there. It smells horrific. Good luck!— Adoria Sommer (@AdoriaS) November 2, 2012
There's obviously a lot that's out of building, and building management's, hands with this situation. But the lack of answers to basic questions—like, what happened to our building? Heat? Gas? Leaks?—is riling folks up. We've just been in touch with PR for TF Cornerstone and will update as we hear from them. Know more or live in the building? Get in touch with us.
UPDATE 12:44pm: We just spoke by phone with Sofia Estevez, Executive Vice President of TF Cornerstone. First up, she told us the gasoline smell has existed since the hurricane as a result of flooded vehicles in the basement garage.
"There's a vacate order for the building and we are obviously complying," she told Curbed. "If residents come to the building and are able to get up the stairs, they are allowed to do so. Residents are coming in and taking as much as they can carry down—it's a 51-story building, so the only way up is up the stairs. We keep track of who's coming in and who's going out. We'll keep working with building department to allow controlled access or even send authorized personnel into the building to get people's stuff." Estevez said there's no set cut-off time for building access.
She also bristled at social media buzz that the building wasn't treating its doormen well. "They've had every meal," she said. "I personally was in the lobby with the door staff with sandwiches and food and drinks for everyone last night. We've maintained an ongoing supply of food, and residents have eaten some and commended us for it."
Finally, TF Cornerstone has taken all its other rental properties off the market "to accomodate as many people as we can," Estevez said.
UPDATE 2:41pm: A tipster shares a Q&A that management has just sent out to affected residents, including this bit of intel: TF Cornerstone will let residents out of their leases if they decide not to wait for the building to be repaired and instead relocate permanently. More from the Q&A:
If I move to another TF Cornerstone building, can I move back to my old apartment at the current price when the building is again safe to enter? A: Yes. If I move to temporary housing, can I move back in to my old apartment at the current price when the building is again safe to enter? A: Yes.
When can I remove my furniture from 2 Gold Street? A: Currently, the Department of Buildings is not allowing people to do this out of concern for safety. As soon as we are able to do so we will provide more information.
Is TFC going to compensate me for my moving expenses? A: It depends on your specific situation. We will handle this question on a case by case basis until further notice, once you have decided where to relocate.
If I move to another TFC building, will I get my security deposit back, even if my furniture is still in my old apartment? A: Yes. Eventually you will be able to retrieve your belongings and your security deposit will be transferred to your new apartment, provided that the apartment has not been damaged beyond ordinary wear and tear.
If I move to a non-TFC building, will I get my security deposit back? A: To the extent that we are able, we will try to return all security deposits promptly, barring any unreasonable damage beyond regular wear and tear, to the apartment, and provided that your account is current.
If I decide to NOT wait for 2 Gold Street to be ready again and relocate permanently, will you let me out of my lease as of 10/31? A: Yes.
Is TFC able to provide listing information about available apartments? A: We do have apartments available, but our inventory will be changing rapidly. Please call our hotline for availabilities at: 877-505-3710.