A ritzy Madison Avenue office tower has been without power for two weeks, leaving office and retail tenants in the dark.
Maintenance crews have been working “around the clock” at 667 Madison Avenue, a 40-story office tower, to put the building back on the grid, according to the building’s landlord.
“Compliments to the city’s old infrastructure in the ground there was a pipe that burst,” said Leonard Stern, the chairman and chief executive of landlord Hartz Group, who added that the pipe was “100 years old.”
The 273,000-square-foot office tower, which Hartz Group built in the 1980s, is occupied by the landlord, flexible-office firm Servcorp and Crown Acquisitions. Multiple retailers occupy the ground floor, including fashion stores Paul & Company and Smythson of Bond Street.
An employee at Smythson of Bond Street, who did not wish to be identified, said that they had put signs on the front of the store to direct customers to two other New York locations. At Servcorp, an employee confirmed the location was without power, and that the building is not being used. An employee at Crown Acquisitions said that employees were working at temporary office locations and at home.
The outage started on July 26, when a 100-year-old water main burst and flooded the building’s basement, where its electrical hub was located, a spokesperson for Con Edison told The Real Deal.
“The fire department attended, saw it, and called us to de-energize the electrical equipment,” said Philip O’Brien, a Con Edison spokesperson.
Before Con Edison can restore power, the landlord must seek approval from the city’s Department of Buildings that the issue has been fixed. In a statement, the buildings department said it had “not yet received any requests to inspect this work.”
“This is a long time,” said O’Brien. “It could have been done by now.”
Stern said that power is expected to be restored to the building by Labor Day weekend.
“While the building will have been out of service almost four weeks when it opens, it could have been much worse,” he said.
In the meantime, Stern said his firm is not charging the tenants rent while the building is without power.
“Everybody has insurance, this is not a financial tragedy for anybody,” he said. “What it is, is one horrible goddamn experience.”