DITMARS — Several buildings at a co-op complex in Astoria are still without cooking gas and hot water, more than three months after their service was cut for what Con Edison described as "unauthorized, improper hookups."
So far, half of the eight buildings that had their gas shut off at the 16-building Acropolis Gardens development at the end of April have been restored, leaving tenants at the four remaining buildings unable to use their stoves or to take a hot shower.
"We were told yesterday at least three more weeks," said Ryan Gorman, a frustrated tenant who's lived at Acropolis Gardens for about two years. "This makes no sense."
Con Edison cut gas at eight buildings in the complex on April 29 for unauthorized piping, the utility company said — though the buildings' management company, Metropolitan Pacific Properties, claimed at the time that their work was permitted and that the shutdown was a mistake.
Elected officials rallied outside the apartment complex in June, calling on management to make speedy repairs at the site. At the time, only two of the eight buildings had their gas back.
Since then, service was restored at another two buildings, according to Con Edison and a statement from the co-op board, leaving four others still without gas. A Con Edison spokesman said one more of the remaining buildings will be turned back on pending an inspection.
In a statement, the buildings' co-op board blamed the delays on "roadblocks and obstacles" by Con Edison and the Department of Buildings. An attorney for the board did not immediately respond to questions about what those roadblocks are.
There are currently two stop work orders at the site, according to the DOB, including one from June for gas work without a permit. The owners will need to obtain the proper permits to have the order lifted, according to the DOB.
The management company plans to bring service back to one building per week, according to a statement from the co-op board.
"The number one priority of the Board of Acropolis Gardens has been, and is, the health, safety and well-being of its residents," board president Debbie Vazquez said in a statement.
In the meantime, tenant Gorman says he's been "making lots of meals in a rice cooker," and on a griddle in lieu of a working stove, as well as regularly dining out for the last several months.
"I can't even begin to try and do the math to figure out how much I've spent eating out," he said. "All the local restaurants in the neighborhood know us by name. It's crazy."
The lack of gas is just the latest problem in the development, according to Gorman, who says other issues include malfunctioning security cameras and broken locks on the doors that lead to the buildings' courtyards.
"Everyone has a New York horror story of renting in New York," he said. "This is ours."