Faulty Boiler in 106 Rivington Cellar Has Neighbors Worried

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 at 9:24 am by
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The controversial commercial unit at 106 Rivington Street – an address that lives in infamy – is again in the news. And this time for something way more serious than a liquor license. Especially given the tragic gas-related explosion up on Second Avenue yesterday afternoon.

We are told that emergency personnel responded to 106 Rivington Wednesday afternoon (5pm) after neighbors reported smoke in the cellars of the adjacent properties. FDNY showed up, and in turn, called Con Edison for an inspection. It was determined fairly quickly that a faulty boiler and its damaged flue were collectively blamed for the “smell of fire and smoke.” Utility workers reportedly spent roughly three hours disconnecting the boiler and making sure the gas was shut off.

One Con Edison repairman told an eyewitness that he had “never seen anything like” the shoddy and outright dangerous setup in the cellar (e.g. questionably legal plumbing, and a flue improperly attached to the boiler). Moreover, according to the tipster, “[Con Edison] also said that it could have been an extremely explosive, potentially life-threatening situation, affecting not only the 106 building but the neighboring buildings as well.”

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There are allegations that the incident is related to the resumption of construction work onsite (partial permit), despite myriad unresolved violations. According to city records, there are more than 20 open DOB violations totaling north of $13,000 and 8 ECB infractions in the amount of $41,135. Of great concern, however, is the string of infractions over the last two decades for failure to file the annual boiler inspection.

In light of the building explosion on Second Avenue yesterday, we hear that many folks on the north side of the block are worried. Worried that the boiler won’t be fixed up to code and that something similar could happen here. Hell, it’s already quite obvious that the landlord doesn’t care to fix the building infrastructure.

Meanwhile, as of this morning, the gas still hasn’t been reactivated, so the businesses and tenants above are without.

106 Rivngton last made headlines back in 2012, when local entrepreneur Enrique Cruz (sitting member of CB3) and a group of investors signed a twenty-year lease and attempted to open a club. The unnamed establishment met immediate community resistance for the potential of a bait-and-switch, and even birthed the LES Dwellers Association. The proposal was eventually shot down, but not before months of controversy and the resultant media frenzy.

Nevertheless, word on the street is that the space is rented. Building permits appear to verify the arrival of an eating/drinking establishment. Digging through the DOB database, it seems that a pizza oven is one of many kitchen appliances requiring the gas hookup. No word just yet on the tenant.

The silver lining in all this – no more sidewalk bridge, a constant eyesore for years…

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