PETER COOPER VILLAGE — The basements of Peter Cooper Village are still closed nearly 11 months after being flooded during Hurricane Sandy, to the frustration of thousands of residents who haven't been able to use the space for storage.
Repairs to the basement storage spaces and laundry rooms were supposed to be completed this month, but construction was held up because complex owner CW Capital had trouble getting the necessary approvals from city agencies, a spokesman said.
“Beyond the physical work and procurement of materials with long lead times, [the project] involves numerous agencies that must review and approve plans for every aspect of each basement’s infrastructure and careful scheduling and staging of contractors to ensure work is completed as quickly and safely as possible with minimum disruptions to residents,” CW spokesman Brian Moriarty said in an email.
“Although some residents may not see physical work being done in their basement, we assure you that significant progress has been made in all basements.”
However, some residents have lost patience waiting to use the storage and laundry space.
“They drained the basement and dried it out right before Christmas, and then for months, nothing happened,” said Jonathan Turkel, a resident of Peter Cooper Village for more than 30 years. “I’ve reached out to management several times times, but they refuse to explain why it’s taking so long.”
While temporary laundry machines have been installed in all 17 Peter Cooper Village buildings that were damaged by the flooding, the new laundry rooms that management had hoped to open by September have not materialized. Residents are also unable to use the basements to store bikes, carriages and other items.
City Councilman Dan Garodnick recently sent a letter to CW Capital demanding an updated timetable and an explanation for the delay.
“People are upset,” Garodnick said. “They want to know what’s going on. Several months ago, [CW Captial] stopped communication. There are no laundry rooms, no bicycle storage..."
In the spring, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association filed a rent-reduction claim with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal related to the loss of basement storage and laundry room services, but the case has not been resolved, residents said.
A spokesman for the state agency declined to provide an update on the claim, noting it was still pending.
“[Residents] deserve to know what’s going on and they deserve to be compensated for the loss of basic services,” Garodnick said.