Luxury Apartment Tenants Have High-Value Amenities But No Gas

Residents of a Brooklyn apartment complex have luxury amenities but fear for their health and safety due to years of gas leaks.

It may have a fitness center and skyline views, but tenants have complained about a lack of basic necessities; as winter rages, residents say they’ve been surviving on hot plates.

Some 87 residents of Manhattan Avenue have started withholding rent due to years of gas leaks. As a result of gas leaks, many residents are without heat or cooking gas. In contrast, the building has an outdoor courtyard, lounge, CrossFit gym, and stunning city views.

The residents say management is lending them hot plates as a temporary fix, but they must return them between meals. Even though the heat has been turned back on in the building since last month — cooking gas is still off — and recurring gas leaks have made some tenants scared to use it.

“I don’t know if I will ever use these units again because I don’t feel safe,” said Marissa Manzanares, a seven-year resident. “I had a space heater and a humidifier in one outlet, and it blew the fuses in my apartment so the electricity went out.” She also claims her son’s lungs are “terrible” due to the ongoing gas leaks.

The building’s apartment rates range from $494 for an income-restricted studio to $4,450 for a standard two-bedroom.

Furthermore, building developer Domain Companies received substantial tax breaks for participating in the 421-a exemption program. The program recently expired, but it was a somewhat contentious way for real estate companies to save on taxes through the creation of units that were marketed as “affordable.”

“The well-being of our Eleven33 residents is our top priority,” said Domain Companies executive Mohini Merchant. “We have communicated with [the tenants] directly on a regular basis.” However, residents were informed that the company would not offer relief “until we know the totality of the problem.”

Many residents are scared to turn the heat back on due to gas leaks and have chosen to struggle through the cold winter for fear of rising health concerns.