Williamsburg Loft Tenants Get $35,000 & $65,000 Con Ed Bills
What would it be like if you got a Con Ed bill for, say, $65,000 or perhaps $35,000? Apparently, this is what happened to two loft tenants at a building at 300 Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg. We got an email from Frank Shifreen, the artist that Carroll Gardens blogger Pardon Me for Asking posted about recently, who once put on an art exhibition at the Public Place site in Gowanus. Mr. Shifreen relates a story about unmetered apartments and monstrous Con Ed bills that arrived recently. Here are some relevant parts of the email:
My artist friends have lived at 300 Morgan Ave. for many years. They are grandfathered as loft tenants...The building is a mixed residential loft and factory loft building covering almost an entire block--Morgan on one side, Metropolitan on one, Grand on the other. Con Ed found out that there were no meters in the building no meters except for...one of the businesses...It's definitely one of the more interesting stories we've come across in a while and, assuming the details are accurate, one of the nastier stories about the mess a tenant can find himself or herself in through no fault of their own. And we thought our Con Ed bill sucks.
All of the tenants including high power industrial tenants had no meters. I have had lofts for many years and am a landlord also. Getting away with no meter is something I have never heard of. When one of the tenants inquired, they said that con ed replied there was no record of 300 morgan ave. Con Ed somehow rediscovered the building and as far as I know the landlord was not given any penalties or fines or put in jail. Something stinks of course--there must have been bribery, something.
Con Ed had the landlord put meters in [and] after several months billed the tenants for past use. My artist friends Mike and Sherry Rader, for instance, who also run a gallery called Tastes Like Chicken from their studio, received a bill for $65,000. Other tenants received bills smaller but still around $35K.
This is a travesty. The tenants did not have access to the basement or areas where meters would have been. I believe all assumed that utilities were being covered by landlord.
(NOTE: That is not the actual Con Ed bill, nor was it intended to be the actual bill.)
Labels: East Williamsburg