[Photo from yesterday]
On the 2-year anniversary of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion, the Post is reporting that landlord Maria Hrynenko "is poised" to sell her now-empty lots at 119 and 121 Second Ave., which could jeopardize the settlements of the victims.
Maria Hrynenko, 57, appears ready to cash out on her valuable Second Avenue properties before the criminal case against her goes to trial and as the civil actions wend their way through the courts...
Hrynenko could rake in at least $12 million, based on the sale price of a neighboring lot, if she sells both her parcels.
Authorities have said that siphoned gas at 121 Second Ave. is to blame for the explosion, which killed Moises Ismael Locón Yac and Nicholas Figueroa, and injured two dozen other people. A 21-year-old student visiting from Berkeley during spring break lost an eye and fractured his larynx. Two firefighters also suffered serious injuries.
In February 2016, the DA charged Hrynenko and her son, Michael Hrynenko Jr., with involuntary manslaughter ... as well as contractor Dilber Kukic and an unlicensed plumber, Athanasios Ioannidis. (A fifth person, Andrew Trombettas, faces charges for supplying his license to Ioannidis.) All pleaded not guilty.
More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Hrynenko, her companies — MAH Realty and Kiev Realty — the city, Con Edison and other defendants.
Lawyers for the victims say it would be virtually impossible to stop a sale — as long as it’s for market value and not to a straw buyer — and that the potential $12 million-plus windfall could be difficult to locate.
“Let’s say she sells the property and takes the cash and stashes it away in the Canary Islands, there’s no way for us to recoup that,” said Marius Wesser, a lawyer for Machendra Chongbang. The Nepalese immigrant was a chef at Sushi Park and was badly injured when he was blown into the basement.
According to the Post, a broker working with Hrynenko recently contacted the new owner of the lot at 123 Second Ave., who paid $6 million for the property. The broker reportedly said they had a buyer interested in purchasing all three lots.
However, the owner, Ezra Wibowo, declined the offer.
“For him, it’s a long-term investment. He’s not in a rush to build or develop,” the source said.
Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street
How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion
Living out of a suitcase 6 months after the 2nd Avenue explosion
Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion
A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'
Former residents talk about landlord Maria Hrynenko: 'it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment'
Report: 123 2nd Ave. is for sale
Selling 123 Second Ave.
And read our interviews with longtime residents of 45 E. Seventh St. Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.