[2nd Avenue photo yesterday by EVG reader Daniel]
The New York Times dispatches three reporters to dig into the real-estate holdings of the Hrynenko family.
Maria Hrynenko is the landlord who owned 121 Second Ave., where a gas explosion on March 26 killed two men and injured more than 20 other people.
Per the Times:
Officials are investigating the cause, which they believe may have been a gas line being improperly tapped to supply newly renovated apartments on the floors above a sushi restaurant in the building, and an effort to cover up the misuse.
Hrynenko owns 121 and 119 Second Ave., which was also destroyed. According to the Times, she also owns 117 Second Ave., 46 E. Seventh St. and 96 Second Ave.
Here are a few passages from the article:
Ms. Hrynenko’s husband, Michael Hrynenko Sr., who died in 2004, went into real estate in the 1970s, long before the East Village was chic. The buildings he bought remain a family enterprise. But as the investigation into what went wrong has unfolded, the Hrynenkos have not spoken publicly, and few on Second Avenue seem to have known them well.
Each real estate company of which Ms. Hrynenko is now the principal seems to bear a form of her children’s names — Crystal Apartments L.L.C. for her daughter Crystal, 31; Nasher Realty Corporation may be for two daughters, Natasha, 21, and Sherry, 22. One, M.A.H. Realty L.L.C., may refer to her son, Michael A. Hrynenko, known as Mischou. Another company’s name consists of the initials of all four children’s first names.
In the East Village, Ms. Hrynenko built personal relationships with some tenants. [117 Second Ave. tenant Billy] Calanca said she doled out hugs when they passed her on the street. Her office was across the street from Sushi Park, the restaurant on the ground floor of 121 Second Avenue.
Hyeonil Kim, who owned Sushi Park, recalled swapping details with Ms. Hrynenko about their personal lives, particularly the loss of her husband. “If you hear her life story in the past, you will know it is a tearful story,” he said.
But Mr. Kim also said Ms. Hrynenko was out of touch with what went on her buildings. He described her as in over her head.
You can find the article, which will appear in tomorrow's paper, here.