Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reader mailbag: What is going on with this construction in my building?

An EVG reader woke up the other morning to the sound of construction coming from inside this building on East 10th Street. There aren't any posted work permits ... and when asked, the workers shrugged and said that they didn't speak English.


"I have emailed my apartment's management company asking what's going on with the building, and when we can expect it to be completed, but received no response ... based on experience, I will probably never receive a reply no matter how many times I follow up or call. Our super does not live in the building and I have never had any contact with him.

As of the end of the day, there are holes in the walls on every single floor in the building, as seen in the above picture. How do I find out if I am going to be woken up every morning by construction until the lease ends or not? Does anyone recognize, based on the picture, what this construction process could possibly be the start of? To my knowledge, the building doesn't have any structural or plumbing issues that need to be fixed."

Anyone have any ideas what these repairs might be related to?


We often get reader queries ... asking for help with, say, donating clothes or books ... or finding an East Village-based caterer... If you have a question for the masses, then try the EV Grieve email...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader mailbag: Places to eat that have that old East Village vibe (45 comments)

Reader mailbag: What do I do about my new neighbors who smoke pot all the time? (52 comments)

Reader mailbag: Where is a good place to get a cup of coffee in the East Village before 6 a.m.? (25 comments)

Reader mailbag: What has happened to the Cooper Station Post Office? (41 comments)

Reader mailbag: Can the landlord 'drill' the lock to gain access to my apartment for simple repairs? (15 comments)

Reader mailbag: Should we receive a rent abatement for having sporadic heat and hot water?


nygrump said...

Some kind of fire system with outputs on each floor? It does look like some has crow barred open that door. I'd call the cops if unidentified tresppasing men were smashing in the walls of my building. It would force the issue.

Anonymous said...

Please call 311 and make a complaint about construction without a permit. TODAY! And ask your neighbors to do the same.
I'm not in the business but it looks like they may be doing something for future electrical work.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Like you said, a building permit is supposed to be displayed somewhere in your bldg while construction work like this is being done. You can check to see if there's a permit for it online at the NYC Department of Buildings - Buildings Information System website:

Just enter your bldg'd address.

Anonymous said...

They look like access holes, as others have said. However, they're pretty crudely done. Usually a competent contractor would made clean cuts so repairs are easier later. These guys just busted open the wall.

They should have permits up, though, because you don't know what's in the wall that they're disturbing (ie. asbestos, etc)

Anonymous said...

Scary how one can see the sheet rock on the inside wall, not so sound proof I suspect. What ever it is most likely not a mail slot.

Anonymous said...

Those holes are likely related to chimney work, which would be related to work on the boiler/gas system in the basement.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a standard framed wall to me. The fact that it's studs and drywall vs plaster+lathe tells me that it's postwar construction. Also not surprising is the lack of insulation in an interior wall, that is common most everywhere in the US and it *helps* heat the cost of less sound insulation.

Asbestos is not a huge concern in this case. It would be if there was a heat source that needed insulation or some other fire protection.

My guess would be they're running a conduit or low-voltage line for a doorbell or coax cable. In most parts of the country, that doesn't require a permit, but I don't know about NYC.

Considering the holes that they made, they'd be better off ripping out the entire sheet of drywall and starting over. It'd be less work.

Anonymous said...

Licensed professional here. The work needs a permit. Period.

It's likely something electrical or data related, judging by the holes and their locations. It won't go on for ever.

It definitely has nothing to do with a chimney or a boiler.

Anonymous said...

if this were 1981 I would guess a space to stash your heroin, but today maybe a place holder for Starbucks coffee cups?

Anonymous said...

Hey there is this great invention called a telephone. You should try"calling" your landlord for an answer. If that fails call 311 and say some mysterious hooligans are in the building trying to break in apartments. That may get their attention.

Anonymous said...

Hey there! OP here. Thanks so much again to EV for posting this.
Regarding the last comment - if you read the whole post, you would see that calling gets me nowhere. Management literally never answers their phones. Ever. No matter what day or time it is, and they don't return messages.

I just called 311 to report construction without a posted permit. I didn't know that was a valid 311 complaint until now, thanks!

Also, "not sound proof" is probably the understatement of the year, and actually the reason I'm not renewing the lease...

Anonymous said...

Possible installation of FIOS??

Mark Hand The Catchman said...

C'mon guys, you should know by now these are the new hallway FroYo dispensers for hipsters on the go and the lower hole is for the public hallway urinals for the drunks who can't wait to make weewee outside [after ingesting many galloons of frothy froyo ]