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Illegal Hookups Leave 700 UES Homes Without Gas, Con Ed Says

By Shaye Weaver | May 10, 2016 2:42pm
 Yorkshire Towers, located on 305-315 86th Street.
Yorkshire Towers, located on 305-315 86th Street.
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DnaInfo/ Sybile Penhirin

YORKVILLE — Con Edison has turned off gas for nearly 700 apartments at an East 86th Street apartment building last week after finding illegal gas hookups in its basement and some of its apartments, officials said.

Con Edison inspectors found the unauthorized pipe work at Yorkshire Towers, at 305-315 E. 86th St., after a resident called the utility on May 5 complaining about a gas smell, according to a spokesman for Con Ed.

During the inspection, gas was shut off to 695 out of the building's 707 apartments for safety reasons, officials said.

The building has been undergoing major renovation for years, with permits for construction work dating back to 2014, according to city records.

"The building's been a disaster," according to a resident who did not want her name printed. "They've broken through my walls renovating the apartment next door and they put cardboard over the carpet and mop over them everyday. There's drilling every morning"

The building doesn't have any building department violations regarding gas, but has eight open violations for issues including one for "unapproved, unsafe and unsuitable electrical equipment" from January, which has yet to be resolved, city records show. 

The property was also issued a partial stop work order for plumbing work on gas lines without a permit, which was resolved, according to DOB records.

Yorkshire Tower's management company, UES Management, would not respond to specific questions about the issues, but in an emailed statement, a spokesman wrote, "We have worked diligently with all appropriate parties – including the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) and Con Edison – to quickly and safely alleviate any gas related issues at 305 East 86th Street.”

Con Ed is waiting for the property owner to fix the piping issues before it can reinspect and turn the gas back on, according to a spokesman. 

Meanwhile, the landlord has given residents without gas hot plates to use, according to tenants.

"I wanted to heat up pizza and I couldn't," a resident said. "I had to get the plain cooked pasta from Luigi's around the corner. It's terrible."

A brand new, "gut-renovated" three bedroom and three and a half bathroom at Yorkshire Towers is listed on Streeteasy.com for $6,662 per month and a studio is listed for $2,354.