Showing posts with label Maria Hrynenko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maria Hrynenko. Show all posts

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sales launch for condos at site of deadly 2nd Avenue explosion



Sales are now underway at 45 E. Seventh St., the 7-story, 21-unit condoplex on the northwest corner of Second Avenue — the site of the deadly gas explosion on March 26, 2015 that leveled three buildings, 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.

Here are details about the Morris Adjmi-designed building — dubbed No45e7 — and units via Real Estate Weekly, who first reported on the sales:
Each unit has oversized windows, high-efficiency central VRF heating and cooling and is pre-wired for smart home features including shades, lighting, sound and intercom.

The building offers a common roof terrace, fitness center, landscaped garden terrace, residents’ laundry room, private storage rooms and bicycle storage. Carson, a virtual doorman, tracks deliveries, service requests, intercom calls, and visitors while providing live HD video of each entry and a payment system to compliment the staffed doorman, all through an app.

Prices will range from approximately $1.35 million for one-bedroom, $1.995 million to $4 million for two- and three-bedrooms, going up to $8.3 million for the penthouse.
There will also be ground-floor retail.

And a few images...





In response to launching sales during the pandemic, in which apartment sales in Manhattan have hit their lowest point in nearly 20 years, a spokesperson for the developer, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group, told Real Estate Weekly: "While many developers may be hesitant to launch during the current pandemic, Nexus Development is confident of the market recovery and that their product offers the exact level of safety, space and comfort to give buyers confidence in a post-COVID world."

As for some history here: In the spring of 2017, Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that landlord Maria Hrynenko owned.

In a previously recorded transaction, Ezra Wibowo paid $6 million for the adjacent property at 123 Second Ave. that was owned by a different landlord who had no role in the explosion. There isn't any development planned there for now, according to previous reports.

In January, Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis were found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the blast. They were each sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Hrynenko is out on bail as she awaits an appeal of the case.

Hrynenko, who took over ownership of the buildings after her husband Michael died in 2004, and her cohorts rigged an illegal system to funnel gas from 119 Second Ave. to 121 Second Ave. to cut corners, according to prosecutors.

The property will include a commemorative plaque that honors the two men who died here on March 26, 2015: Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón. In October 2017, city officials unveiled new street blades that co-name the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street after the two men.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Locón

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion


[Google Streetview from 2013]

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the gas explosion that killed two men, injured more than 20 others, and leveled 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.

The links below have more about what has transpired here in the past five years as well as details about the lives of the two men who died that day — Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Locón, 27.

In January, landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis were found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the blast. They were each sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Hrynenko is out on bail as she awaits an appeal of the case. The other two remain in prison.

Hrynenko, who took over ownership of the buildings after her husband Michael died in 2004, and her cohorts rigged an illegal system to funnel gas from 119 Second Ave. to 121 Second Ave. to cut corners, according to prosecutors.

In the spring of 2017, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that Hrynenko owned.

A Morris Adjmi-designed building, which will include 21 condo units as well as ground-floor retail, has quickly gone up on two of the three lots that were 119-123 Second Ave.


[Photo yesterday by Steven]

The property will include a commemorative plaque that honors Figueroa and Locón. In October 2017, city officials unveiled new street blades that co-name the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street after the two men.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Locón

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Report: Probation for plumber indicted in deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Michael Hrynenko, Jr., awaiting trial for his role in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion, dies at 31

Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison

Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars

And read our interviews with two longtime residents who lost their homes in the explosion — Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.

Monday, March 2, 2020

More of the explosion site condoplex comes into view at 45 E. 7th St.



Back on Friday, workers removed the construction tarps from the Seventh Street side of the new building on the northwest corner of Second Avenue (thanks to Steven for these photos...)



So now we have better views of this high-profile project at 45 E. Seventh St., which is going up on two of the three lots destroyed during the deadly gas explosion here on March 26, 2015.





Missing to date: the perforated cornice parapet that we saw in the rendering...


[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

The Morris Adjmi-designed building will include 21 condo units as well as ground-floor retail. Residential units are one, two and three bedrooms. The Tavivian Team from Douglas Elliman will be responsible for the sales.

You can find all the background about this project and its history at this link.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Another look at the NW corner of 2nd Avenue and 7th Street



Here are two more partial-reveal views of the 7-floor condoplex building on the gas explosion site on Second Avenue at Seventh Street...



This is a follow-up to our post from yesterday morning. You can find all the background about this project and its history at this link.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Partial reveal of the explosion site condoplex



Workers yesterday afternoon started removing the construction tarps from the new building at 119 Second Ave. (aka 45 E. Seventh St.) ...



The Morris Adjmi-designed building, which will include 21 condo units as well as ground-floor retail, went up on two of the three lots destroyed during the deadly gas explosion here on March 26, 2015.

In the spring of 2017, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that landlord Maria Hrynenko owned.

Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis were found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the blast. They were each sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Hrynenko is out on bail as she awaits an appeal of the case.

Hrynenko, who took over ownership of the buildings after her husband Michael died in 2004, and the others rigged an illegal system to funnel gas from 119 Second Ave. to 121 Second Ave. to cut corners, according to prosecutors.

"What the defendants did, in a matter of speaking, was roll the dice with the lives of many people. The results, as we know, are catastrophic," Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus said on Jan. 17.

As for the new building, given its location within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission needed to approve the plans, which they did in August 2018.

Residential units are one, two and three bedrooms. No word on pricing just yet.


[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

The property will include a commemorative plaque that honors victims Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Locón, 27.

In October 2017, city officials unveiled new street blades that co-name the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street after the two men.

Updated 8:45 a.m.

Goggla shared these photos... the reveal continues...





H/T Andrij!

Previously on EV Grieve:
• Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison (Jan. 17)

• Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars (Jan. 18)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2nd Avenue gas explosion trial recap


[Image via CBS 2]

A recap from the gas-explosion trial in case you were away this past holiday weekend. The sentencing took place on Friday...

• Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison (Friday)

• Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars (Saturday)

Meanwhile, here's a look from Sunday at the new building going up on Second Avenue and Seventh on two of the three lots destroyed on March 26, 2015...



Workers have been quickly erecting the Morris Adjmi-designed building at 119 Second Ave. — officially 45 E. Seventh St. — that will feature 21 condo units and ground-floor retail. The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors victims Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón.

We expect the construction tarp to come down soon, revealing ...


[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

In the spring of 2017, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that Hrynenko owned.

In a transaction from late 2016, Ezra Wibowo paid $6 million for the adjacent property at 123 Second Ave. that was owned by a different landlord who had no role in the explosion. There isn't any development planned there for now, according to previous reports.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars


[Photo from March 26, 2015 via @mesh_mellow]

After yesterday's sentencing of the three people a jury found responsible for the deadly March 2015 Second Avenue gas explosion, the defendants were handcuffed and taken into custody.

However, per published reports, their lawyers said they planned to appeal and were trying to get their clients out on bail.

According to public records, landlord Maria Hrynenko made bail yesterday as she awaits an appeal of the case ...



The other two who were sentenced, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis, remain at the Manhattan Detention Center...





Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus handed down prison sentences of between four and 12 years each — depending on their behavior behind bars — in state prison. The defendants faced a maximum of 5 to 15 years each.

“What the defendants did, in a matter of speaking, was roll the dice with the lives of many people,” Obus told the courtroom. “The results, as we know, are catastrophic.”

However, Obus said that he was giving the defendants a break on their prison time because they were older and “did not intend to blow up the building,” as the Post reported.

“It’s not enough. It’s a joke,” Nixon Figeuroa, whose son Nicholas died in the explosion along with Moises Locon, told reporters. “What kind of justice did you give us? You didn’t give us no justice. It’s a slap in my son’s face.”

Kukic was the only defendant to speak to the court yesterday, according to CBS 2.

“He said that he would gladly give up his own life for the lives of the people who lost their lives,” Kukic’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo said.

Here is a breakdown of the convictions via the DA's office:

MARIA HRYNENKO, D.O.B. 11/26/1959
Rockland, N.Y.

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

ATHANASIOS “JERRY” IOANNIDIS, D.O.B. 6/15/1956
Queens

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 2 counts

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

DILBER KUKIC, D.O.B. 6/9/1975
Bronx

Convicted:

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

4-to-12 years in prison

Friday, January 17, 2020

[Updated] Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison


[Image via CBS 2]

The three people found guilty in the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion will spend between four and 12 years — depending on their behavior behind bars — in state prison, The New York Times reports.

The sentencing was handed down this morning in State Supreme Court.

This past Nov. 15, a jury found landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the March 2015 Second Avenue gas explosion that killed two men.

In addition, they were also found guilty of assault charges for injuries to 13 people in the blast that destroyed the buildings at 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Prosecutors said that an illegally installed gas line triggered the explosion.

From the Times:

"What was it that made these three defendants circumvent all the rules they were aware of?" the lead prosecutor, Rachana Pathak, said in her closing remarks. "Money, money, money."

This greed — as the prosecution put it — was responsible for the deaths of Moises Locón, 27 ...



... and Nicholas Figueroa, 23 ...



Updated: 6:30 p.m.

More details from the Post. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus handed down the prison time.

“What the defendants did, in a matter of speaking, was roll the dice with the lives of many people,” Obus told a packed courtroom. “The results, as we know, are catastrophic.”

And...

Still, Obus said he was giving the defendants a break on their prison time because they were older and “did not intend to blow up the building.”

Many people (read the comments) felt as if the sentence was too light, Nixon Figeuroa, Nicholas Figueroa’s father had this to say, via CBS 2:

“It’s not enough. It’s a joke. What kind of justice did you give us? You didn’t give us no justice. It’s a slap in my son’s face.”

Below you'll find a selection of EVG headlines about the explosion from the past five years...

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Locón

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Remembering Nicholas and Moises: the Figueroa family marks the 4-year anniversary of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Report: Probation for plumber indicted in deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Michael Hrynenko, Jr., awaiting trial for his role in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion, dies at 31

And read our interviews with two longtime residents who lost their homes in the explosion — Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Sentencing expected tomorrow in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion case


[Photo from March 26, 2015 via @NYPDSpecialops]

The three people a jury found guilty in the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion are expected to be sentenced tomorrow (Jan. 17) — one week later than originally reported.

This past Nov. 15, a jury found landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the March 2015 Second Avenue gas explosion that killed two men.

In addition, they were also found guilty of assault charges for injuries to 13 people in the blast that destroyed the buildings at 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

They each face up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors said that an illegally installed gas line triggered the explosion.

The sentencing was originally set for Jan. 10, but was pushed back one week for unspecified reasons.

There are still civil actions making their way through the courts. Hrynenko and her companies have reportedly been hit with a handful of lawsuits.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Details on the guilty verdicts in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion case

Monday, November 18, 2019

Details on the guilty verdicts in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion case


[Image via the DA's office]

On Friday afternoon, a jury found landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the March 2015 Second Avenue gas explosion that killed two men.

In addition, they were also found guilty of assault charges for injuries to 13 people in the blast that destroyed the buildings at 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Prosecutors said that an illegally installed gas line triggered the explosion.

The three will be sentenced on Jan. 10.

Here is the specific information on the defendants and their convictions via the DA's office:

MARIA HRYNENKO, D.O.B. 11/26/1959
Rockland, N.Y.
Convicted:

• Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
• Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
• Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
• Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

ATHANASIOS “JERRY” IOANNIDIS, D.O.B. 6/15/1956
Queens, N.Y.
Convicted:

• Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
• Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
• Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
• Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
• Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 2 counts

DILBER KUKIC, D.O.B. 6/9/1975
Bronx, N.Y.
Convicted:

• Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
• Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
• Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
• Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Michael Hrynenko Jr. was charged for his role in the scheme, but he died in 2017 before the case went to trial. He was 31.

Hrynenko, Ioannidis and Kukic face up to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter counts, according to the Daily News.

The Times provided the best recap from the two-plus-month trial:

Ms. Hrynenko who had taken over her husband’s housing stock after his death in 2004, hired Dilber Kukic, a general contractor, to renovate apartments at 121 Second Avenue in 2013. By the summer of the following year, Ms. Hrynenko had leased the apartments to 16 people, but Con Edison had not yet approved a new gas line.

Prosecutors said Ms. Hrynenko risked losing tenants and $24,000 in rent per month if she could not provide gas. That is when, prosecutors said, she devised a plan to siphon gas from Sushi Park, a ground-floor restaurant in the building to provide gas to the apartments above.

And...

But, prosecutors said, the explosion in the East Village was the result of something else: a landlord’s greed.

“What was it that made these three defendants circumvent all the rules they were aware of?” the lead prosecutor, Rachana Pathak, said in her closing remarks this week. “Money, money, money.”

And...

Jose Gomez, a cook at Sushi Park, said he had to crawl out from underneath a pile of debris. He said his eyes and ears are permanently damaged. A firefighter who had been injured while responding to the scene was forced to retire because of his injuries.

Randolph Clarke Jr., an assistant Manhattan district attorney, said the defendants “took a chance, they rolled the dice, and the cost was paid for by Mr. Figueroa and Mr. Locon and 13 others.”

In the days after the explosion, prosecutors said, Ms. Hrynenko did not tell investigators about the illegal gas line and she shredded nine garbage bags full of documents pertaining to her real estate business.

The landlord's greed — as the prosecution put it — was responsible for the deaths of these two men: Moises Locón, 27 ...



... and Nicholas Figueroa, 23 ...



Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. provided this statement:

As construction and development continues to boom, today’s guilty verdict puts property owners, contractors, and managers on notice: my Office will pursue criminal charges against those who place expediency and financial gain over life and limb. I thank the jury and the tireless prosecutors in our storied Rackets Bureau for holding these defendants accountable for the tragic and preventable losses of Moises Locon and Nicholas Figueroa.

I also want to thank the Figueroa and Locon families, who demonstrated remarkable strength and resilience through the duration of this trial. While today’s result will not bring these young New Yorkers back, I hope the Figueroa and Locon families take a measure of comfort in knowing that this case will change the way that landlords and contractors do business in New York.

Meanwhile, construction of the condoplex on two of the gas-explosion lots continues. Workers have been quickly erecting the Morris Adjmi-designed building at 119 Second Ave. — officially 45 E. Seventh St. — that will feature 21 condo units and ground-floor retail. The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors Figueroa and Locón.

Here's a look from Saturday...



Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that Hrynenko owned.

In a transaction from late 2016, Ezra Wibowo paid $6 million for the adjacent property at 123 Second Ave. that was owned by a different landlord who had no role in the explosion. There isn't any development planned there for now, according to previous reports.

There are still civil actions making their way through the courts. Hrynenko and her companies have reportedly been hit with nearly 30 lawsuits.

---

Below you'll find a selection of EVG headlines about the explosion from the past four-plus years...

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Locón

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Remembering Nicholas and Moises: the Figueroa family marks the 4-year anniversary of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Report: Probation for plumber indicted in deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Michael Hrynenko, Jr., awaiting trial for his role in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion, dies at 31

And read our interviews with two longtime residents who lost their homes in the explosion — Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Guilty verdicts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial


Per the Times:

After more than two months of testimony, a jury in Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday found [Maria] Hrynenko, a general contractor and an unlicensed plumber guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses when they installed an illegal gas line, causing the explosion.

Sentencing takes place on Jan. 10.

We will post much more on this case in the days ahead.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men

Day 1 recap of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial; opening statements and emotional testimony from Nicholas Figueroa's father

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

[Updated] Closing arguments expected to start today in the 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial


[Aerial photo of 119-123 2nd Ave. from March 27, 2015]

Closing arguments are expecting to begin today in the Second Avenue gas explosion trial, WABC-7 reports.

The trial, which started on Sept. 9 in Manhattan Supreme Court, was expected to last three months.

Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis are standing trial on a variety of charges, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the March 2015 explosion at 121 Second Ave. that killed two men and injured nearly two dozen people.

They illegally tampered with the gas line at No. 121, where the restaurant Sushi Park was the retail tenant, then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

"Unbeknownst to the people who were walking down the street, driving down the street, there was a virtual bomb lurking under the East Village," Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clarke said in his opening statement.

The defense has attempted to shift the blame away from the three, putting the responsibility on Con Edison and others.

Here's part of a trial preview from the Times from Sept. 9:

Under New York law, prosecutors will have to prove that Ms. Hrynenko, Mr. Kukic and Mr. Ioannidis were aware that they were acting recklessly, and disregarded the potential risk of death to others. Prosecutors would also have to show that the risks were not something that a reasonable person would have ignored.

“Being aware of a substantial risk would seem to be inconsistent with maintaining their property and obtaining tenants, making it challenging to prove that level of reckless intent,” said Kevin McCarthy, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who previously worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and an assistant district attorney in Manhattan.

Updated 8 p.m.

Attorneys for the defense made their closing arguments today. Per CBS New York:

Hrynenko’s lawyer said she hired people to do work and knows nothing about an illegal gas line.

Her attorney gave the first closing argument, saying prosecutors are missing evidence, including some piping and the main shut-off valve.

All three defense attorneys have argued the explosion happened in the kitchen of the sushi restaurant on the first floor, not the basement like prosecutors allege.

Family and friends of the defendants packed one side of the courtroom. On the other side were family members of those killed.

“I hope that the jury will decide these people’s fate in the right way, you know, that they all go to jail for what they did,” said Nixon Figueroa, whose son died in the explosion.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men

Day 1 recap of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial; opening statements and emotional testimony from Nicholas Figueroa's father

Monday, September 16, 2019

2nd Avenue gas explosion trial enters 2nd week


[Photo from March 26, 2015 by peter radley]

The Second Avenue gas explosion trial enters its second week in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis are standing trial on a variety of charges, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the March 2015 explosion at 121 Second Ave. that killed two men and injured nearly two dozen people.

They illegally tampered with the gas line at No. 121, where the restaurant Sushi Park was the retail tenant, then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. The defense is attempting to shift the blame away from the three, putting the responsibility on Con Edison and others.

The trial is expected to last three months.

An EVG reader, who went to part of the trial last week, shared the courtroom information:

Supreme Court, New York County
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, (1-2 p.m. lunch break)
100 Centre St., Room 1536.
Judge Michael Obus is presiding

And unlike federal court, people can bring in smartphones, computers and books into the courtroom.

Here are a few headlines from the trial last week:

• Jurors see gruesome photos of two men who died in East Village blast (The Post)

• FDNY hero injured fighting 2015 East Village blast: ‘I live in pain’ (The Post)

• East Village gas explosion trial starts; Defense focuses on Con Ed, missing valve (The Villager)

• Video of East Village building explosion aftermath brings landlord on trial to tears (Daily News)

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men

Day 1 recap of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial; opening statements and emotional testimony from Nicholas Figueroa's father

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Day 1 recap of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion trial; opening statements and emotional testimony from Nicholas Figueroa's father


[CBS 2 at 119 2nd Avenue via Steven]

Opening statements were made during Day 1 of the trial yesterday of landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis in Manhattan Supreme Court on Centre Street.

The three have been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for the March 2015 explosion at 121 Second Ave. that killed two men and injured nearly two dozen people. They illegally tampered with the gas line at No. 121, where the restaurant Sushi Park was the retail tenant, then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Here's The Wall Street Journal:

“There was a virtual bomb lurking beneath,” Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clarke Jr. told a jury during opening statements.

“All it took was 23 minutes to cause all this damage and destruction,” Mr. Clarke, the prosecutor, told the jury. He said the defendants’ actions were motivated by financial greed and a desire to rent the newly renovated apartments.

Lawyers for the defendants said their clients weren’t responsible for the blast.

“This is a tragic accident,” said Michael Burke, a lawyer for Ms. Hrynenko. He said his client was an inexperienced landlord who tried to do things right and hire the right people.

Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Mr. Kukic, said evidence suggested the fire could have started in the kitchen of Sushi Park and not in the adjacent basement. He said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove prosecutors’ theory of the case.

A lawyer for Mr. Ioannidis, Roger Blank, told the jury that Sushi Park had a history of gas issues in its kitchen.

Nixon Figueroa, the father of Nicholas Figueroa, one of two men who died that March 26, 2015, took the stand. The Post has his emotional testimony:

[He] recalled how his wife waited nearly three agonizing days after the March 26, 2015, blast to learn that the body of their 23-year-old son was recovered from the rubble.

“That’s the day I died,” said the 56-year-old, choking up. “I have a picture of my son’s face in the moment when he’s flying through the air and the anguish that he had and the pain when he knew he wasn’t coming back…it broke my heart.”

You can also read recaps at the Daily News and The Daily Mail.

And via the local TV stations: CBS 2 ... PIX 11 ... NBC 4 ... and ABC 7.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men

Monday, September 9, 2019

2nd Avenue gas explosion trial starts today


[119 2nd Ave. as seen last week]

The trial is set to start today (per ABC 7) for Maria Hrynenko and two others for their role in the gas explosion on March 26, 2015, that killed two men, Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón, and leveled three buildings — 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.

The trial could last as long as three months in Manhattan Supreme Court, the Daily News reported last week.

Hrynenko, her son Michael Hrynenko (now deceased), contractor Dilber Kukic and their plumber Anthanasios Ioannidis illegally tampered with the gas line at 121 Second Ave. then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

Charges against Hrynenko, Kukic and Ioannidis include second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and several counts of assault in connection to more than a dozen injured victims.

As the News reported last week, the defense is expected to argue that tampering was not the root cause of the explosion. "I think the DA is going to try and show that there were all these irregularities regarding the gas piping," said Kukic’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo. "None of that is what caused the gas to leak."

This past March, the fifth defendant, Andrew Trombettas, was sentenced to probation and community service. Trombettas had previously pleaded guilty for his role in rubber-stamping a modification to 121 Second Ave. prior to the explosion. The D.A.'s office charged him with two counts of "Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony."

Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that Hrynenko owned. As the top photo shows, workers have been quickly erecting the Morris Adjmi-designed building at 119 Second Ave. (aka 45 E. Seventh St.) — that will feature 21 condo units and ground-floor retail. The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors Figueroa and Locón.

Updated 8 a.m.

The Times has a trial preview today:

A lawyer for Ms. Hrynenko did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Hrynenko did not tell detectives about the illegal gas line, prosecutors said, and she shredded nine garbage bags full of documents pertaining to her real estate business.

But legal experts and defense lawyers say that it is difficult to convince a jury that someone is guilty of manslaughter in cases where slipshod construction work has led to deaths.

Under New York law, prosecutors will have to prove that Ms. Hrynenko, Mr. Kukic and Mr. Ioannidis were aware that they were acting recklessly, and disregarded the potential risk of death to others. Prosecutors would also have to show that the risks were not something that a reasonable person would have ignored.

“Being aware of a substantial risk would seem to be inconsistent with maintaining their property and obtaining tenants, making it challenging to prove that level of reckless intent,” said Kevin McCarthy, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who previously worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and an assistant district attorney in Manhattan.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jury selection starts for defendants in 2nd Avenue gas explosion that killed 2 men


[Aerial photo of 119-123 2nd Ave. from March 27, 2015]

Jury selection is set to start today for Maria Hrynenko and two others for their role in the gas explosion on March 26, 2015, that killed two men, Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón, and leveled three buildings — 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.

The trial could last as long as three months in Manhattan Supreme Court, the Daily News reports.

Hrynenko, her son Michael Hrynenko (now deceased), contractor Dilber Kukic and their plumber Anthanasios Ioannidis illegally tampered with the gas line at 121 Second Ave. then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

Charges against Hrynenko, Kukic and Ioannidis include second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and several counts of assault in connection to more than a dozen injured victims.

This past March, the fifth defendant, Andrew Trombettas, was sentenced to probation and community service. Trombettas had previously pleaded guilty for his role in rubber-stamping a modification to 121 Second Ave. prior to the explosion. The D.A.'s office charged him with two counts of "Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony."

The News has comments from Kukic’s lawyer:

The defense is expected to argue that tampering was not the root cause of the explosion.

“I think the DA is going to try and show that there were all these irregularities regarding the gas piping,” said Kukic’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo. “None of that is what caused the gas to leak.”

Instead, he said, the gas leak came from the restaurant’s kitchen where workers heard a “hissing.”

“They smelled gas for months prior to the explosion. It was not a one-time thing,” Agnifilo said.

If the fire started in the kitchen, the defendants are expected to argue that couldn’t be blamed because their potential liability would have been isolated to basement operations.

“I don’t think the DA will ever really conclusively pinpoint what the problem was, where the gas came from,” Agnifilo [said].

Hrynenko and the defendants had made 25-plus courtroom appearances since February 2016, which all ended the same — "adjourned/bail continued."

Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that Hrynenko owned. In a previously recorded transaction, Ezra Wibowo paid $6 million for the adjacent property at 123 Second Ave. that was owned by a different landlord who had no role in the explosion. There isn't any development planned there for now, according to previous reports.

Workers have been quickly erecting the Morris Adjmi-designed building at 119 Second Ave. — officially 45 E. Seventh St. — that will feature 21 condo units and ground-floor retail. The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

RIP Nicholas Figueroa

RIP Moises Ismael Locón Yac

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Friday, June 21, 2019

Explosion-site condoplex reaches the top



Workers have hoisted the American flag atop 119-121 Second Ave. (aka 45 E. Seventh St.), marking that they have officially topped off the Morris Adjmi-designed building that will feature 21 condo units and ground-floor retail.

As we've been noting, work is moving at a brisk pace here at Seventh Street. The plywood only arrived in late January ... with the excavation starting several weeks later.


[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group, Inc., paid $9.15 million in June 2017 for the lots at 119 and 121 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

We haven't spotted a website yet with any details about the residences, which will range from one to three bedrooms. The Tavivian Team from Douglas Elliman is doing the sales and marketing.

This corner was the site of the deadly gas explosion on March 26, 2015 that leveled three buildings, 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.

The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors the two men who died that day — Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón.

The previous owner of 119 and 121 Second Ave., Maria Hrynenko, and two other defendants, are due back in New York County Criminal Court today. To date, the outcome of the previous 25-plus appearances has been the same since the first appearance in February 2016 — "adjourned/bail continued."

The defendants were part of a scheme that saw an illegally tampered gas line at 121 Second Ave., according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Remembering Nicholas and Moises: the Figueroa family marks the 4-year anniversary of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Monday, April 29, 2019

2nd Avenue gas-explosion defendants due back in court June 21


[Photo of 119 2nd Ave. from Friday]

On Friday, we noted how quickly the 7-story condoplex was rising at 119 Second Ave. at Seventh Street, site of the deadly gas explosion on March 26, 2015.

The work, which started in January, is moving along much more quickly than the legal case against the defendants.

The previous owner of 119 and 121 Second Ave., Maria Hrynenko, was due back in New York County Criminal Court on Friday. As in the previous 25 appearances, the outcome was the same since the first appearance in February 2016 — "adjourned/bail continued."



Hrynenko, her son Michael Hrynenko (now deceased), contractor Dilber Kukic and their plumber Anthanasios Ioannidis illegally tampered with the gas line at 121 Second Ave. then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

Charges against Hrynenko, Kukic and Ioannidis include second-degree manslaughter. All three are due back in court on June 21, according to public records.

In March, the fifth defendant, Andrew Trombettas, was sentenced to probation and community service. Trombettas had previously pleaded guilty for his role in rubber-stamping a modification to 121 Second Ave. prior to the explosion that killed two men and injured 20 others on March 26, 2015. The D.A.'s office charged him with two counts of "Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony."

Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group, Inc., paid $9.15 million in June 2017 for the lots at 119 and 121 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Remembering Nicholas and Moises: the Figueroa family marks the 4-year anniversary of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Friday, April 26, 2019

Explosion-site condoplex rising quickly


[Updated the photos — these are from today]

Work is moving at a brisk pace at 119 Second Ave. at Seventh Street, where a seven-floor Morris Adjmi-designed residential building with 21 condo units and ground-floor retail is quickly rising on the lot.

This week the building made its first appearance above street level...



The plywood only arrived in late January ... with the excavation starting several weeks later.

Compare this pace with that of, say, 11 Avenue C, where, after two-plus years, workers have only just finished the foundation.

Three buildings, 119, 121 and 123 Second Ave., were destroyed on this corner during the deadly gas explosion on March 26, 2015.

The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors the two men who died that day — Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón.

This previous post has more details about what has happened here to date.


[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Remembering Nicholas and Moises: the Figueroa family marks the 4-year anniversary of the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Report: Probation for plumber indicted in deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion


[Aerial photo of 119-123 2nd Ave. from March 27, 2015]

According to the Daily News, Andrew Trombettas, the plumber indicted in connection to the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion in March 2015, was sentenced to probation and community service yesterday.

Trombettas had previously pleaded guilty for his role in rubber-stamping a modification to 121 Second Ave. prior to the explosion that killed two men and injured 20 others on March 26, 2015.

In February 2016, the D.A.'s office charged him with two counts of "Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony."

Per the News:

He was promised a sentence of three years probation and 100 hours of community service in a plea deal made in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The plumber signed off on required paperwork that went to the city Department of Buildings and Con Edison because a friend who actually did the job did not have a license. Trombettas never went to the site.

In February 2016, the Post reported that Trombettas signed off on 19 other jobs that violated regulations.

The previous owner of 119 and 121 Second Ave., Maria Hrynenko, her son Michael Hrynenko (now deceased), contractor Dilber Kukic and their plumber Anthanasios Ioannidis illegally tampered with the gas line then failed to warn those in the building before the blast, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

According to public records, Hrynenko and the other defendants will appear in court again tomorrow (March 22). Records show that Hrynenko and the other accused have appeared in New York County Criminal Court 23 times since February 2016... and the outcome was the same — "adjourned/bail continued" — since their initial appearance. There's also a new judge presiding, Michael J. Obus of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Justice Kirke Bartley had been the judge of record.

Meanwhile, work is quickly moving along on the condoplex coming to part of the blast site. Here's a look at the lot that will house a Morris Adjmi-designed residential building with 21 condos and ground-floor retail...





The new building will include a commemorative plaque that honors Moises Locón and Nicholas Figueroa, the men who died on on March 26, 2015.

Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots. In a previously recorded transaction, Ezra Wibowo paid $6 million for the adjacent property at 123 Second Ave. There isn't any development planned there for now, according to previous reports.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Report: Judge says plumber allegedly involved in 2nd Ave. blast should have his license revoked

Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street