Equity Residential’s Jersey City tenants allege floods, faulty elevators

Sam Zell’s firm hit with online reviews, social media posts on 70 Greene

Equity Residential CEO Mark Parrell and 70 Greene Street in Jersey City (Equity Residential, LVC Interiors, Getty Images)
Equity Residential CEO Mark Parrell and 70 Greene Street in Jersey City (Equity Residential, LVC Interiors, Getty Images)

Equity Residential’s Jersey City apartment building boasts waterfront views in a high-interest neighborhood, but tenants are claiming the luxury property is plagued by issues.

Tenants of 70 Greene Street alleged a myriad of problems are part of regular life at the building owned by Sam Zell’s firm, the New York Post reported, including hot water outages, faulty elevators, damaging floods.

“There was water pouring down in the elevator,” one resident told the Post about an incident last March. “We ended up having to climb up 72 flights of stairs.”

A burst pipe burst in the 49-story building this April pushed numerous residents to nearby hotels for four days. Maintenance staff have struggled to turn off water after floods, during which a resident told the outlet one elevator fell 10 stories before engaging an emergency brake; Equity claimed to have no knowledge of the incident.

Online reviews and social media posts further detail further problems at the building, with residents imploring prospective tenants to stay clear of the property. At least one person accused Equity of removing negative reviews from websites.

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While denying some of the claims, a spokesperson for Equity said residents will be reimbursed for hotel rooms and property damage.

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Marcus & Millichap Associate David Ferber in front of part of the 30-building, 319-unit portfolio concentrated in Jersey City (Marcus and Millichap, iStock)
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“We have worked with the impacted residents to find other accommodations, which we are paying for,” a spokesperson for Equity said. “We have also offered rent abatements to the residents. We are working with our contractors to assess the cause of the pipe burst and to make the necessary repairs at 70 Greene.”

Jersey City has been one of the hottest rental markets in the country, leading to a boom in the city’s multifamily market. As of mid-June, median rent for a one-bedroom was $3,225, 79 percent more than a year ago, according to Zumper.

— Holden Walter-Warner