Pelham Bay tenants recently held a meeting to discuss the current state of their building.
On Wednesday, February 17, the Tenants Association of 3555 Bruckner Boulevard held a tenants meeting to highlight the recent improvements that have been made to their building, as well as other issues that still need to be addressed and fixed.
The 12-story, 144-unit residential building, which was built in 1959 and has experienced issues dating back as early as the 1980s, but most recently since 2011, has seen many improvements, including new front doors to the building, replaced locks, a newly-painted exterior of the building, a renovated lobby and new washers and dryers for the building’s laundry room, along with other improvements for individual apartment units which were in desperate needof repairs.
As a result of these prior deficiencies, the tenants received a court-ordered rent reduction late last year, after Council members James Vacca and Ritchie Torres helped residents make their case.
Abro Management, the building’s management firm, was forced to replace the building’s gas pipes and windows in November 2013.
Two years earlier, the building hit rock bottom – when it experienced a gas outage and residents were unable to cook and were left without hot water for four months, during Thanksgiving and Christmas of that year.
Since many of these improvements have been completed, Abro Management is now looking to end the temporary rent reduction for the building’s tenants.
However, many tenants are claiming that although many improvements have been made to their building, there is still a list of deficiencies, that include the basement area, leaking pipes and the building’s heating system.
According to residents, the basement has filthy walls and peeling paint, as well as damaged pipes. The building’s hallways are also in dire need of repainting.
Residents have also complained of a lack of heat in the building during the winter months.
During the meeting, which was attended by David Ramos from Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation, tenants discussed their approval of the building’s improvements, but expressed displeasure that the building’s rent reductions would be lifted before all the work was completed
“There are certain issues in this building that still need to be addressed and taken care of before we, as residents, begin paying our monthly rent in full again,” said Sonja Melendez, president of 3555 Bruckner Boulevard’s Tenants Association and a resident of the building for nearly 30 years.
Sonja also added that multiple residents have experienced issues with their heating systems and that, if these issues persists, they should contact the building manager, Isaac Widroff, at iwidr
“However, without the help of Councilman Vacca and Councilman Ritchie Torres, I don’t know what state this building would be today – so we owe them a great deal of gratitude for their efforts in giving this building the improvements that it sorely needed.”
“The tenants seem to be thrilled with the improvements and I am happy for them,” said Councilman Vacca.
Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto also helped rectify the situation.
“This building has witnessed a big turnaround and we have fought long and hard to see these results,” Vacca concluded.