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LES Pencil Shop Closed Due to Mold Will Open New Location This Fall

By Allegra Hobbs | August 3, 2017 2:51pm
 CW Pencil Enterprise was located at 100 Forsyth St.
CW Pencil Enterprise was located at 100 Forsyth St.
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CW Pencil Enterprise/Facebook

LOWER EAST SIDE — A colorful pencil shop has become the second casualty of a mold problem plaguing its Forsyth Street building — but it is expected to be up and running at a new Lower East Side location by September, according to management.

CW Pencil Enterprise had to close its doors June 28 to deal with "a serious building safety issue," according to postings on the door at 100 Forsyth St. and the shop's website — and the owner says a mold infestation that had already wrecked a restaurant in the same building is the culprit.

"It's mold caused by water damage done to the building during construction—it spread to the inside [a]long our walls," wrote owner Caroline Weaver in an email, though she declined to speak at length about the problem, citing ongoing conversations with the landlord and an attorney.

Weaver first launched CW Pencil Enterprise as an online-only shop in November 2014, then opened the Lower East Side boutique the following March. She and the shop were profiled by the New York Times in May 2015. The boutique hawks a wide variety of the writing instruments, including vintage pencils and specialty scented and multi-colored pencils. 

The pencil shop's downstairs neighbor, Southern eatery Birds & Bubbles, has already brought a lawsuit against landlord 100 Forsyth St. LLC, claiming it allowed negligent contractors to carry out work that caused a harmful mold problem, leaks and flooding, requiring the business to temporarily shut down. The contractors are also listed as defendants in the suit. 

Birds and Bubbles claims in the lawsuit that the shoddy work caused more than a dozen cases of flooding between January 2016 and the lawsuit's filing date of April 12. The lawsuit also claims a mold inspection revealed elevated spore counts and that the mold would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove. 

Weaver said she is still deciding whether or not to bring legal action against the landlord.

But the pencil shop should be up and running again at a new neighborhood spot by mid to late September, said operators, though the location has yet to be revealed.

100 Forsyth LLC has denied responsibility for the mold and flooding in a cross claim, instead blaming contractors E&J Construction Corporation and 2M Mechanical LLC, court documents show.

A representative for the landlord did not return a request for comment.