Tenants say elevators only let them down
By Adam Wisnieski
The rents are going up, but the elevators aren’t.
Tenants at the Promenade — the massive 318-unit, 32-story building that towers above the Harlem River in Marble Hill — are furious that the elevators in their building are constantly breaking down, forcing them to walk up endless flights to their apartments.
Meanwhile, rents are about to skyrocket on Monday, Oct. 1.
“When somebody dies, then they’ll fix it,” 32nd floor resident Guillermo Rojas, 66, said.
The Promenade has four elevators — two for floors below the 16th and two for the high rise floors above that. Though tenants said all the elevators are problematic, it’s the elevators to the high rise that they say break down most frequently.
They were out of order on Sept. 19 and again on Sept. 20, according to tenants, forcing tenants to take the stairs between the 16th and 32nd floors.
Complaints about the broken elevators have been pouring into the city’s 3-1-1 complaint center since June. This year, the New York City Department of Buildings Elevator Division has issued six violations for broken elevators in the building, including two in September. The most recent violation was issued on Sept. 14 for one out of order elevator and a DOB inspector is scheduled to re-inspect the elevator within the coming weeks, according to a DOB spokeswoman.
Violations cost building owners $2,000 since this time last year. According to the DOB, the building has six open violations related to its elevators.
“You’ve had instances where two have gone out, but they manage to get one working and just because of the high usage of it, it goes out,” said Ron Goodman, 69, who works for the Board of Elections and has lived in the Promenade with his wife since 1978.
On a recent afternoon, when the elevators were working, tenants stood around the lobby talking to a reporter about how many times they’ve had to walk in the past few months. Dozens of tenants stopped to say how bad it’s been.
“It’s horrible. I have to carry my grandson,” said Edwin Vicens, 49, who had hip surgery 14 months ago.