Category: Renovation

Updated Moving Procedure

Don Smith, John LiCastro, Nelson Lopez and Tony Savarese met with the leadership of the Residents Association on October 13th, 2015 to discuss issues related to the relocation of residents; specifically the moving company, packing, inventory and reimbursement for damages. The owner changed the moving company after Phase I, and there were improvements. Unfortunately, damages and lost items will always be a possibility. The key is to minimize such incidences, and provide a method for reimbursing residents for a legitimate claim. Moving forward, the owner will inventory all boxes and furniture/accessories prior to the move out of the apartment. A resident may have a representative from, either the Residents Association, or another third party (such as a relative) observe the inventory.

We agreed at the meeting that all items to be thrown out from the apartment should be taken out of the unit prior to the inventory, and not after or during the move. Only the items that will go into storage should be left in the apartment before the moving company takes it away.

There is a process in-place for residents to file a claim if there is a damage claim. Residents who believe they have a claim for damages should contact the relocation office, and the staff will complete a claims form for review and a decision. The process should take between 30 to 60 days for a final decision and check request where applicable. If the owner denies a resident’s claim, then the resident does have the final option to go to small claims court if the owner and resident cannot reach a settlement.

The meeting ended with agreement on a resident-wide meeting in November. The leadership committee will communicate the exact date and time with the residents. Thank you, as always, for your patience and understanding through the relocation process as we complete this very complicated, and much needed, renovation process.

The Punch List

The return is underway. The first wave has moved back into their twelfth floor apartments, despite the fact that there are still some unfinished items. These unfinished items become part of the Punch List and are then addressed, in this case, post-move-in. Some of you may be asking “What is a Punch List?” Well, for me, it’s a list of people I’d like to punch because they are responsible in one way or another for the long delays. Traditionally though, in construction, it is a list of items which still need to be addressed once the job has been deemed completed. The phrase originates from the historical process of punching a hole into the margin of a document next to an item on the list in order to indicate the work for that particular construction task had been completed.

A Punch List is drawn up by the Architect based on how the finished product compares to the plan. That assumes that the product is finished. Normally punch lists contain small items like “replace cracked faceplate on light switch” or “touch up paint around window.” Our punch list contained items like “install frame for closet doors,” “Install bathroom door,” and “replace wall where window used to be, then replace window.” Technically these are not punch list items. They are tasks which contribute to the substantial completion of the work. But our tenants had been out so long and wanted to get back into their homes, and so some people elected to move in knowing that some minor work still needed to be done. Completing the work around people after they were back in place was an idea that, truth be told, didn’t even look good on paper. But people were happy to be home and the punch lists are being carefully completed. We learned our lesson however, and for the people moving onto the 11th floor, we decided to delay the move-in until we were certain the renovations were at least 97% complete.

Therefore, we expect a much smaller punch list for the 11th floor; one that can be completed for all 19 apartments over two or three days. The punch list may not end with us. Once you are back in your apartment, and you notice something that we may have missed, you will be free to point things out to us and we will get them fixed. Of course requests should be reasonable like “the soap dish is crooked,” or “a cabinet door won’t stay closed.” I’m afraid we can’t entertain complaints like “the Jacuzzi is missing from my bathroom,” “the fireplace has no andirons,” or “my talking thermostat is condescending.” There are no Jacuzzis or fireplaces and all our thermostats have been factory-checked for politeness. But we will keep punch lists open for several months in order to insure that your new apartment will be 100% complete.

Naturally, the last item on every punch list is usually “repair the punch holes in the punch list.”

As always, we apologize for any inconvenience and we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

Why the delay?

Why the delay? That’s the question we hear the most lately. “I thought we were coming back middle of February.” What is taking so long? Well, there are several answers. The first delay was asbestos. As we mentioned in earlier posts, this building was built in 1979, which was the cusp of asbestos awareness. The use of asbestos to insulate heating pipes was banned in 1977, but asbestos was still contained in products manufactured as late as 1989. The mastic used to glue down the wooden floor tiles in 1980 contained a small percentage of asbestos. So removal of that flooring material requires strict asbestos abatement procedures. These include setting up decontamination stations, strict removal precautions, special disposal procedures, worker protection, and plastic containment partitions. Air quality is monitored before, during and after this process. When this abatement was completed on the twelfth floor, the partitions were taken down, the decontamination stations were dismantled and all the specially marked trash was hauled away separately. Abating the twelfth floor took about a week and a half from start to finish. We were on schedule. Then, in one room in one apartment, while preparing to pour a leveling compound, it was discovered that this room already had a layer of levelling compound that looked exactly like the concrete slab. And guess what was under that leveling compound. Mastic containing asbestos. So because of that one room, we had to reschedule the abatement crew, set up the partitions, rebuild a decontamination station and arrange for another special disposal. Also, during this process, no one other than the abatement crew was allowed to work on the floor. It took another week and a half to clear that room and so we found ourselves nearly two weeks behind schedule.

The next thing that delayed the construction was the fire alarm. We wanted a fire alarm that far surpassed what is required for a typical apartment building of this size. Believe it or not, we had a hard time convincing the Fire Department to allow us to go the extra mile. We finally obtained an FDNY approval of the fire alarm plan but, because we noticed some inadequacies, we needed to revise the drawings and add new means and methods and additional smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors. This meant waiting for new drawings which needed to be run by engineers which were then discussed and finalized and sent out for pricing. Pricing always induces more discussion and more changes. These changes needed approval. Meanwhile certain aspects of the renovation which hinged on the completion of the wiring for the fire alarm could not be completed, pushing us further behind schedule.

Surprises cause delays also. When sheetrockers open a wall and find a crack in a drain pipe, the plumbers need to come in and replace that pipe. When a new opening is cut in the roof for a vent, and a conduit of electrical wires is found buried in the concrete, electricians need to come in and reroute those cables. If some appliances we ordered are suddenly out of stock, we can’t just find a substitute; we need to find an appropriate substitute and officially resubmit the specifications and wait for approval.

The last thing that delayed construction was Mother Nature herself. When the wind is above a certain level we cannot use the outside hoist, and therefore cannot bring materials up to the floors being renovated. We cannot install windows or use the scaffolding during rain and snow storms, and we’ve had plenty of those. We just missed the window of opportunity before winter when we could safely complete the roof, so that had to be put off until Spring. And those new leveling compounds I mentioned earlier that were poured two weeks late, they need to dry completely. For the purposes of the bamboo floor, the compound needs to be at 3% moisture or less. So while the bathroom tiles went in and the kitchen floors went down, in order for the bamboo to adhere properly and last a good long time, we had to wait, and take measurements, and wait again, and take more measurements, and wait again. You’ve heard the expression “It’s like watching paint dry”? Well watching a floor dry is fifty times worse. But the floor must go in before the door jambs go in and the doors to follow. So delays cause other delays and so on and so forth.

So these are some of the reasons why the first two residential floors have taken two months longer than anticipated. However, we are learning what the hindrances are and we can better anticipate them going forward. We believe the next phase will be completed closer to schedule. We are confident the final product will be worth the wait.

As always, we apologize for any inconvenience and we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

Selis Manor Inspires New Technology

The new laundry room is key to completing the first floor renovations. Everything needs to follow a precise and logical order. The new entrance for Visions will have its own elevator to the basement, landing smack dab where the Laundry Room is now. So, before we can build that entrance and put in that elevator, we need to move the Laundry Room. But half of the new Laundry Room is going where the old Community Room was (remember the room where the soda machines used to be?) and the other half will be in an extension in an area which is now part of the courtyard. That extension can’t be built until they pour a foundation for it, and we are told that the temperature needs to be above forty degrees for three consecutive days before they can safely pour concrete. So does that mean we have to wait for spring? Well, yes, unless . . . . “Unless what?” we asked. Unless we build a tent or structure that can be heated and will allow us to control the temperature and the pour and the inspection schedule, and so on. “Do it!” we said. “Let’s get this ball rolling.” So plans are in the works to do just that. And once the twelfth and eleventh floors are completed, and we are utilizing four weeks to move people in and move others out, the contractors will be utilizing those same four weeks working 100% on the Laundry Room, the new snack bar, the rest rooms, the basement, and the new stairs to the basement.

If all goes well we will have an all new Laundry Room on the first floor in early April, just about the time the outside temperatures start to hit forty degrees for three or four days in a row. But that won’t matter, because the foundation will have long been poured. The new Laundry will have all brand new machines, nine washers and eight dryers, so efficient that people will have to find entirely new items to kick and punch and curse at. The new machines will be front-loading and energy-efficient. You will use less detergent and less bleach. We asked for coin-operated machines in order to satisfy the special needs of much of our population. Most machines today use reloadable cash cards, but technology does not exist to audibly read how much money is on a cash card. That is it didn’t exist until we presented our need for such a device. The company providing the machines, Hercules, went to its vendors and explained the situation. Technicians at the vending company developed a card vending machine that will audibly announce the amount whenever you insert the card, whether to refill it or just check the balance. This is technology that WE made happen. Selis Manor will move into the twenty-first century with the ability to use cards for the washers and dryers, and we will have the first laundry room anywhere to have the ability to audibly announce how much cash is on those cards.

This is quite a breakthrough in accessibility technology, and it came about because of two things: a company that understood our special needs and were willing to help; and, to be honest, a company that was tired of carrying bags of quarters out of here. But whatever the motive, the fact is that something exists now that did not exist before, something beneficial to a large portion of the population, and may eventually become standard issue across the country. It is an extraordinary accomplishment. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this happen.

No Pain, No Gain

Normally I save the apologizing for any inconvenience for the end, but I think this is a good time to bring it to the front. Now that we have started to tie in steam, water, and electric to the apartments under renovation, individual shut-offs have resulted in one inconvenience after another. Yet I have heard surprisingly few complaints. Official complaints, that is. I’ve heard the grumblings in the elevators, or should I say elevator, and have read the anonymous comments in the margins of the posted notices (no, the roof garden won’t be closed until 2025); but, for the most part, the tenants have been patient and understanding.

We are learning that nothing worthwhile is accomplished without some degree of pain. In some way we can compare the renovation to the pain of childbirth. The agonizing pain of labor soon gives way to the delightful gift of a new born baby. And with that gift, the pain quickly becomes a distant memory. So it is in our building. The laborers are causing us much pain, yet we know that something beautiful will result from it. The only difference is that in childbirth, the water breaks once, and at Selis Manor, the water seems to be breaking two or three times a month.

Although many of the problems result from construction, fixing them is the responsibility of our Superintendents and maintenance staff. For instance, water pressure is good throughout the building. However, water shutdowns, or more accurately turning the water back on can loosen rust inside the pipes. That spitting out of brown water when you first turn the water back on is a good illustration of this situation. If your water pressure is low after a water shutdown, chances are good that some of that rust or debris is lodged somewhere in the mixing valve, shower head, faucet or aerator. If your water pressure is low, or not as hot or cold as it should be, report it to building management and Maintenance will take care of it.

Same with heat. Apartments are getting less heat, but only because in the past they were getting too much heat. The brand new radiators will allow you to set your own temperature, but the existing radiators are being regulated in order to maintain a more consistent normal temperature. So, in the past when the heat was constantly blasting, those of you who turned off the radiators, or blocked them with furniture, or opened windows; you should now turn your radiators back on, move your furniture away, and/or try to keep the windows closed. Let your apartment heat up and cool down naturally. This is not to say there won’t be mechanical problems. If one radiator is hot and the other is cold, or if the temperature in your apartment has dropped way below normal, then report the problem to the management office, or, when they are closed, use the intercom to report it to the security desk. Maintenance will address the problem. But first consider the possibility that the heat has cycled off and will soon cycle back on.

So, thank you for dealing with all the adversities that come with renovation. We trust that the gain will be worth the pain and that, upon completion, that pain will quickly become a distant memory.

Happy New Year 2015!

Here is a list of work completed as of 12/31/2014 by Procida Construction and its subcontractors. With your continued cooperation and help, we look forward to completing even more work in 2015:

Demolition/ACM Abatement –Tri-State Cleaning

  • ACM Removal: Phase 1 and 2, Phase 3 partially complete.
  • Window caulking ACM removal at Apt 309 & first floor
  • Completed removal of floor drains in cellar
  • Cutting of slab for footing
  • Demolition of exterior wall and parapet wall at new addition location
  • Demolition of rooftop terrace & men’s lavatory, first floor east side
  • Demolition of women’s lavatory, first floor east side
  • Core drilling in men’s lavatory on first floor
  • Removed existing material lift in cellar
  • Additional demo in new laundry room
  • Demolition of concrete at new addition in courtyard
  • Demolition of cabinets/appliances on 12th and 11th floors
  • 12th floor ACM abatement (flooring) complete
  • Demo of 12th floor apartments (selected drywall, bathrooms, kitchens)
  • 11th floor ACM abatement (flooring) complete
  • 12th floor window ACM abatement complete
  • Roof drain flashing abatement complete

Windows – Crystal Windows

  • Mock up window fabricated
  • PTAC submittal approval received
  • Factory test of mock up window completed 8/25
  • Field test for mock up window completed 9/10
  • Factory and field test results received
  • Completed removal of 1st floor windows, east side south elevation
  • 12th floor windows delivered, installation commenced

Structural Steel – BYN Ironwork

  • Floor penetration cut, remaining steel installed
  • Inspection of material lift steel complete
  • Installation of additional steel tubes necessary for material lift
  • Spray-on fireproofing complete
  • Installed hoist beam in material lift shaft
  • Mark out for new addition and canopy in courtyard
  • Structural steel installation at new stairs – inspection passed

Plumbing – TT Mechanical

  • Domestic riser valve replacement completed 9/12
  • Connected new DHW storage tanks to old boiler
  • Completed snaking of existing drain lines in cellar
  • Gas line connected to new steam boilers
  • Installation and connection of the two new DHW heaters
  • Water make up for boilers
  • Replacement of floor drains in cellar
  • Gas vents for boiler
  • Relocation of sprinkler lines within material lift shaft and at location of new stair in cellar
  • Roof and floor drains delivered
  • Gas booster pump installation and plumbing complete
  • Completed rough-ins for cellar lavatories and kitchenettes
  • Gas line installation for new laundry room in process
  • Gas line for roof installation complete in cellar
  • RPZ (backflow preventer) and water meter set installed
  • Rough-in commenced for men’s room on first floor
  • Gas line relocation at area of new stairway
  • Rough-in complete of new lavatory located on first floor
  • Piping in trench and rough-ins for new laundry room in process
  • Piping insulation in cellar/first floor in process
  • Sprinkler line relocation at first floor in process
  • Rough-in complete in new laundry room
  • Continued drain line work in kitchens on 12th floor
  • Water meter set submittal returned, approved as noted
  • Rough-in of men’s lavatory on first floor complete
  • Rough-in of women’s lavatory on first floor complete
  • Demo and replacement of 6 roof drains
  • Began tub installation

Mechanical – Medley Air, Inc.

  • Boiler #1/#2 complete, inspection passed
  • Continued installation of first floor ductwork
  • Duct drawings for first floor returned Furnish as Noted
  • Steam boiler burners and controls installed
  • Continued installation of boiler piping
  • Steam boiler flues installed
  • Continued installation of condensate lines
  • Boiler feed unit and sump pumps/sewage ejector pumps delivered and installed
  • Steam lines located around stairway have been relocated
  • Plenum intake installed on first floor to cellar
  • Continued control wiring
  • Hydronic pumps assembled and in place
  • Boiler flue installation has commenced
  • Hydronic pumps installed, piping in process
  • Air separator and expansion tank installed
  • Piping for expansion tank
  • Smoke test conducted; failed
  • Relocation of steam line at new stairway location
  • All PTAC units in fabrication
  • Began demo of electric wall heaters, 12 and 11

Electrical – Sheridan Electric

  • Continued rough-ins of all equipment in cellar and boiler room
  • Relocated electrical conduit in first floor, east hallway, for duct installation
  • Core drilling in west stairway and refuse closets
  • Continued wiring in boiler room
  • Installation of disconnect for material lift
  • Panels in gas meter room installed
  • Temp panels for ACM removal (12th, 11th floors)
  • Temp disconnect installed in boiler room

Carpentry – J.A.M. Construction

  • Framing complete in the cellar
  • Continued framing on first floor, east side
  • Framing of material lift shaft enclosure
  • Installation of door frames in cellar and first floor
  • Installed core board and sheetrock at material lift shaft enclosure in cellar
  • Installed framing at west wall of men’s lavatory
  • Continued sheetrock installation, first floor, east side in process
  • Material lift door frame installed at cellar and first floor
  • Framing in new laundry room
  • Framing first floor, east side

Doors – Architectural Doors, Inc.

  • Delivery of door frames for cellar and first floor
  • Hardware finish schedule approved

Masonry and Concrete – Zaman Construction

  • Sample pressure washing of façade
  • Mock up brick pointing in courtyard
  • Concrete poured around material lift steel
  • Reinforcement of first floor slab at plenum location complete
  • Installed all slabs in boiler room
  • Column #7, #11 and adjacent walls in cellar repaired with Sikatop 123
  • Excavation at new stairway complete
  • Installation of concrete footing at new stairway in cellar
  • Installation of beam on slab at cellar stair footing
  • Completed patching at 5’ x 5’ intake plenum in cellar
  • Installation of CMU block walls at cellar stair footing
  • Astraglaze block delivered, first brick delivery complete
  • Continued pressure washing, raking, and repointing of façade on upper floors
  • Began brick replacement on upper floors
  • Removed dirt in trench in new laundry room
  • Bulkhead pointing in process
  • Excavation of courtyard commenced at new addition
  • Suspended scaffold installed at east elevation
  • Excavation complete for new addition, subgrade inspection passed
  • Filled/patched floor drains, cellar and first floor (12)
  • Refilled extra section of trench in new laundry room (due to grade beam)

Scaffolding – Spring Scaffolding

  • South elevation complete, courtyard elevation complete
  • North elevation complete
  • Continued erection of scaffolding around roof bulkhead
  • DOB approved amended plans showing additional planking
  • Neighbor roof protection installed
  • Plank connections to hoist complete, installed parapet level planking on north and south elevations and chimney
  • Windows repaired at street elevation, sidewalk shed support in courtyard relocated
  • Access installed to neighbor’s roof
  • Completed shoring and additional planking around bulkhead scaffold

Hoist – United Hoisting

  • Tie backs complete at floors 3 – 12, and roof
  • Loading dock and ramp installed at ground level
  • Floor level landings, roof level ramp and landing
  • DOB inspection and drop test complete 9/12
  • Drop test complete 12/12

Material Lift – Day Elevator

  • Fabrication of material lift
  • Material lift installation in process
  • Permit received for removal of existing material lift

Elevators – Kone Inc.

  • Equipment approved
  • Shop drawings for 2-stop approved
  • Cab finishes and traction elevator cab drawing approved
  • Civil penalty paid
  • Elevator permit pulled

Roofing – Famous Roofing of NY

  • Temporary roofing at replaced roof drains

Fire Alarms – Simplex Grinnell

  • Received revised plans from EME

Concrete Cutting – Composite Technologies

  • Cut concrete for trench in new laundry room
  • Cut concrete for new stairway opening

Renovation of Residential Floors is Underway

We thought this day would never arrive.

“What? That this blog would have an updated entry?”

No, I mean that apartment renovation has begun. Twelfth and Eleventh floor residents have moved to their temporary abodes, all the belongings are stored in individual pods, and work has begun to transform the top two floors into the finished products we have been talking about for the last four or five years.

The first task is asbestos abatement. No use avoiding the subject; notices have been posted and sooner or later everyone will hear the “A” word being tossed about. This building was built in 1979. Suspicions about asbestos were coming to light at that time, but regulations were not yet being imposed. The good news is that the asbestos used in this building is very localized and has never posed a danger to anyone here. In older buildings, this material was much more prevalent, but here at Selis Manor it was found to be contained in the mastic that glued the tiles to the floor. No exposure to us, and it was less than six percent of an epoxy product that could not become airborne in its natural state. Still, it is there; but, after abatement, there won’t be a speck to be found in the newly renovated spaces.

Once we get the all clear, demolition will begin. Old cabinets, stoves, refrigerators, air-conditioners, radiators, sinks, tubs, toilets, tiles, closet doors, and apartment doors will all be tossed. (Well, not literally tossed. You can still walk in front of the building without worrying about a toilet landing on your head. I wish I could say the same for my neighborhood.) Some walls will be opened up, and pipes will be replaced where needed. The floors will be leveled. (Sorry. Now if you drop something on the floor, it will no longer roll toward the windows.) Speaking of windows, new, better-insulated windows will replace the old ones and the new heating/air-conditioning units will be installed. The new bamboo floors will be laid. After that kitchens and bathrooms will be totally redone. There will be new intercoms, updated pull stations, new smoke and CO2 detectors. The new closet doors (no longer bi-fold, but a much easier outward swing) and the new apartment doors will be installed. Some fresh paint, and “voila” the apartment will be ready. Multiply that by two floors’ worth of apartments, and you can understand why it is a three month process. Lots to be done in a relatively short period of time.

Right now the construction is a lot of noise and inconvenience, but in a few months, when the twelfth and eleventh floors are reoccupied, there will be tangible evidence of what living at Selis Manor will be like in the not too distant future.

Pull Down the Shades!

Now that the scaffolding is up, do not be surprised if you notice people walking past your windows. These are workers doing their jobs and as much as we would love to notify you exactly when and where they will be working every day, that would be impossible. If they are repairing a crack on the eleventh floor and suddenly realize they need to continue that repair on the tenth floor and then the ninth floor, they are going to go where the work takes them and any prior scheduling notification would not anticipate that. So suffice it to say that workers may be working anywhere on the scaffolding Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Hard as it may be to imagine, these workers are more interested in repairing the brickwork than in peering into windows. They are professionals and they know better. Still, if you value your privacy, I suggest you pull down your shades. I remember changing in my room once and suddenly there was a worker right outside my window. He took one look at me and reached in and pulled down the shade himself.

Speaking of the work presently taking place on the scaffolding, we are power-washing the bricks and scraping out the old mortar between the bricks so fresh mortar may be applied. The process we are using causes pebble-sized debris to fall straight down which sometimes bounces off the lower levels of the scaffolding and into the screens and window panes below and might even get into your window sill. If you hear pebbles bouncing off your windows, it is mortar from above. It might be annoying, but these bouncing pebbles pose no danger to you, the windows or the screens.

As always, we apologize for any inconvenience and we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

Construction and Fire Alarms

This is an important piece of information that everyone in the building should know. Although it eventually will be modernized, presently we have a very good Fire Alarm System which will light up the panel in the security office for all manner of trouble. It not only monitors the sensors throughout the building for excessive heat and fire, it monitors the water in the standpipes feeding the fire hoses on every floor and it monitors the water pressure in the sprinkler system. The system is always up and running and it will always alert the Central Station when there is trouble. Central Station will then alert FDNY to dispatch the Fire Trucks. During construction, when working with blow torches, or when adding sprinkler heads, or when lowering the water pressure, or when doing any work that might set off an alarm, we must take the system off-line. This does not mean that the alarms won’t ring. It just means that we alert the Central Station not to pass the signal through to FDNY unless they hear from us that there is real trouble. So if you hear fire alarms ringing on your floor, even if there are several in a row, please know that if there is a real emergency you will be notified by the front desk. Please do not take it upon yourselves to call 911 or summon the Fire Department. That would be tantamount to calling in a False Alarm and may cause delays in their responding to real emergencies. For safety and legal reasons we cannot disarm the system, so if you hear a fire bell between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm, it is likely due to alarms reacting normally, but to a controlled situation. After 4:00pm and before 8:00am however, and all day on weekends the system will be back on line and will perform regularly and you should behave as you normally would in those situations.

The Pace is Picking Up

As you can probably tell just by listening, work is continuing at Selis Manor. The hoist has been secured to the building. Every bolt of it was inspected by the Department of Buildings who deemed it safe. So we will be carrying materials to the roof and to the top floors in the coming weeks. Unfortunately we had to close the roof garden. Too many overly curious patrons were wandering into restricted areas. If there was a way to remedy this without closing the garden we would, but the safety of everyone is the primary concern and for now we must restrict access to that area.

Many people are concerned with the “Stop Work” order posted on the main entrance. This refers only to the scaffolding and I will attempt to explain the issue. All our plans and drawings are on file with the Department of Buildings. The original plans showed the scaffolding exactly as built and with four levels of planking. When it was determined by our team that six levels of planking would be more effective, amended drawings were filed. Inspectors showed up and walked the levels and were extremely satisfied with the quality of work. They found only one problem; when comparing it to the original plans they said we exceeded the number of planked levels by two. Correcting this was all a matter of red tape and paperwork. This just illustrates how precise we need to be and how closely we are being monitored. Everyone is working to insure that the work will follow all guidelines and continue to be at the highest level of accuracy. The amended plans were approved and the “stop work” order has been lifted.

Meanwhile we are digging deep through the basement floor in order to pour the concrete footings that will support the new stairway and two-stop elevators. We are digging about six feet down. The good news is we did not find any bodies; but we did hit the water table, a veritable river that runs under 23rd Street. We knew it was there and had already planned the proper methods to seal off the water and pour the concrete to the base. Nothing is as simple at it may seem, but fortunately we have a team of designers and engineers who not only have the original blueprints of this building to reference, but city plans as well.

We are also in the final stages of testing and approving the new windows. A few weeks ago contractors and ownership attended the factory test of the new window system which tested extremely well against wind and rain. Now we have installed those windows in an apartment right here at Selis Manor and they were tested in place this past week. If the results are as we expect, manufacturing will begin immediately. All of the windows, by the way, will be made locally, in beautiful downtown Flushing, New York, affording us a competitive rate while helping fuel the local economy.

As always, we apologize for any inconvenience and we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.