EAST VILLAGE — A housing complex that was left in the dark for days following Hurricane Sandy due to an explosion at a nearby Con Edison plant is getting a new "disaster-resilient" building stocked with the backup supplies it would need in the event of another super storm.
The owners of the Haven Plaza complex broke ground this week on the two-story infrastructure building at 212 Avenue C — a project launched in response to the chaos that broke out after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when flooding ignited an explosion at the Con Edison East River Generating Station, leaving residents without electricity, heat, water or elevator service, according to project representatives.
The new building will hold three boilers, electrical meters, both hot water pumps and heaters, and a backup storage of oil in a waterproof tank, according to the project's designer.
"The new facility addresses Haven Plaza’s need to be self-sufficient during both regular operations and in case of a natural disaster, instead of relying on a costly ConEd steam supply," said Daniel Allen, principal of CTA Architects, in a statement.
The building is elevated 5 feet above ground — above the flood plain, in case of another storm — and the roof is waterproof, according to project reps.
The project is funded by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Development Corporation as part of the Build it Back program, which was launched to help repair properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The agencies altogether gave $10 million to the Haven Plaza project.
The rest of the complex will also get a host of upgrades to make it more resilient — for example, electrical equipment located lower to the ground will be elevated to protect it from flooding, while elevators in the complex's high-rises will be fitted with "flood sensors" so they will automatically move upwards when sensing water, said reps.
The entire project is slated for completion in 2018.