Tenants at the Joseph Chetrit-owned Hotel Chelsea lost heat, hot water and gas yesterday, the latest in a line of snafus that have stemmed from the property’s conversion into a luxury residential development, DNAinfo reported.
The latest incident occurred after a contractor shut off the main gas line to the building on Thursday morning. Residents were unable to cook or take a hot shower, according to the residents’ lawyer, Samuel Himmelstein.
“All hell’s breaking lose,” Himmelstein told DNAinfo. “When gas is shut off, ConEd won’t turn it back on until they inspect every pipe in the building, which could take days, even months in an old building like the Chelsea.”
The chaotic development site has seen more than its fair share of legal drama. Chetrit has previously sued the hotel’s former owners, Chelsea 23rd Street Corporation, and manager Stanley Bard for $4.15 million, alleging misrepresentation of the property’s value. The Department Of Buildings has also shot down multiple applications for architect Gene Kaufman’s design for the rooftop, citing a violation of zoning laws.
And last year, tenants successfully sued Chetrit, winning a court order to clean up renovation-related damage and mold. Himmelstein told DNAinfo that the residents would seek a new contempt charge.
“The dust level’s just off the charts,” he said. “We’ve already decided to go back to court.” [DNAinfo] –Hiten Samtani