Category: Updates

Oh the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

There has been a lot of noise lately; jack hammering to be specific. Cutting through a one-foot thick slab of concrete gets pretty noisy. Plans call for cutouts in three places: two one-stop elevators and a staircase. One cutout is complete, but we have two more to go, so prepare yourselves; there’s more to come. In addition to the jack hammering there has been drilling, sledge-hammering, sawing, clanging, banging, chopping, scraping, sanding, grinding, and electric guitar playing. We know how any one of these things can get on your nerves, but everything at once can be downright mind-shattering. To help cope with this assault on our ears, management has purchased individual pairs of earplugs. These are available in apartment 204, free of charge (one pair per person please.) If the noise is getting to you, please stop by between the hours of nine a.m. and four p.m. Monday through Friday, and anyone in that office will be happy to supply you with a pair.

So what are the specifics on these new holes in the first floor, you ask? (Actually no one has asked, but I’m going to tell you anyway.) The one already cut is for a material lift. That is a new lift in a new location for the purpose of bringing the compacted trash up from the basement and directly to the street. No more trash in the courtyard! Another cutout is for an elevator to bring Visions’ clients directly from their new lobby to and from the basement. This will keep ridership down on the residential elevators. The third cutout is for a stairway to the basement where the old entrance to the auditorium used to be.

The next project coming up very soon is the power washing and repointing of the brickwork. This is like what the Dentist does to your teeth twice a year, but we’re using bigger Water-Piks. We will do this one floor at a time beginning with the twelfth and working our way down. We will publish the schedule shortly, but when your floor is being done we will need the windows closed and the air conditioners off. Workers will cover the air-conditioners from the outside to prevent debris from getting in the works. We ask your patience and cooperation as we make our building sparkling and bright and cavity-free.


We have an addition to the Duct Cleaning Schedule:

August 29th Apartments 1210, 1114-214

Speaking of duct-cleaning, it is very important to make sure you allow access on the day specified so that your registers are sealed. So far we have cleaned the ducts of half the apartments and there was only one apartment that did not allow access in time. Lovely plumes of dust and soot spouted from the registers and were deposited on the kitchen and bathroom floors. Duct … Duct … Yucch.

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.


In order to isolate future plumbing work in the building, both during the construction and the future operations of the building, the Owner is proceeding with the replacement of all domestic main riser valves (as well as adding more valves to improve service).

All of these shut-off valves are located in the first floor corridor, evenly distributed from east to west. Unfortunately, in order to perform this replacement, Procida will have to shut off water to the entire building and completely drain the system each time it installs a valve (it’s a full day’s work for each valve).

The building, therefore, will be without water on the days that work will commence between the hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. PCC will perform said work according to the following schedule:

  • Friday – August 8th
  • Thursday – August 14th
  • Friday – August 22nd
  • Friday – August 29th
  • Friday – September 5th

Please take the necessary and appropriate steps to deal with this temporary condition. Procida will restore water at the end of each day. Please do not hesitate to contact John LiCastro with any questions or concerns. Thank you.


We are going to address thirty years of build-up in the duct work of the building, and this work will begin on Monday, August 18th. Unfortunately, we will not be able to access the ducts through the roof openings, and this work will require Procida Construction to access each apartment according to the lines, not floors.

The schedule is as follows:

  • August 18th – Apartments 1201 – 201 and 1202 – 202
  • August 19th – Apartments 1203 – 203 and 1204 – 204
  • August 20th – Apartments 1205 – 205 and 1206 – 206
  • August 21st – Apartments 1205, 1107 – 207 and 1208 – 208
  • August 22nd – Apartments 1207, 1109 – 307, Catholic Guardians Space and 1208, 1110 – 210
  • August 25th – Apartments 1209, 1111 – 311, Catholic Guardians Space and 1210, 1112 – 312
  • August 26th – Apartments 1209, 1115 – 315, Catholic Guardians Space and 1212, 1116 – 216
  • August 27th – Apartments 1211, 1117 – 317, Catholic Guardians Space and 1214, 1118 – 218
  • August 28th – Apartments 1215, 1119 – 319, Catholic Guardians Space and 1216, 1120 – 220

Scope of work will be as follows:

  • Access to apartments will be needed starting at 8:00 am.
  • All registers in bathroom and kitchen to be sealed with plastic and tape.
  • Cleaning of ducts will commence upon completion of sealing all registers in the entire line of apartments starting from the 12th floor. All cleaning will be performed from the 12th floor apartments. Each riser will take approximately 30 minutes to clean. There are two risers located in each apartment. One in the kitchen and the other located in the bathroom.
  • Once cleaning of all duct lines has been completed, access will be needed in the apartments to remove previously installed plastic and tape, as well as, perform vacuuming of any residual dust in the registers. This process should only take approximately 5 – 10 minutes per apartment.
  • Ownership, then resident, to be notified once cleaning has been completed.

Please do not hesitate to contact John LiCastro with any questions. Thank you.

The Pain Will be Worth the Gain!

There is much to report this week on a variety of different levels. First of all, preparation for the temporary relocation of residents to begin the apartment renovation phase is underway. Everyone received a General Information Notice which officially explained the work, the reason for the temporary relocation, AND, most importantly, the fact that you will return to your apartment upon completion of the work. The relocation staff (Nelson and Bianca, along with Don) began meeting with residents of the 12th and 11th floors to discuss the available options and services.

On the construction front, you are probably very aware that there is now scaffolding on the front of the building all the way to the top, along with designated protected paths to insure safety. Procida should complete the back scaffolding within two weeks. In addition, Procida started installation of the material hoist in the front of the building which the general contractor will use to move material and remove debris in and out of the building.

August will be the month that we begin to take major steps that will affect services in the building and require access to apartments. The pain will be worth the gain! Two major items for August are the duct cleaning and installation of water shut-off valves. We will post separate information on each so that the related details stand-out easier. Thank you. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

Scaffolding, Hot Water, and More

Well, we knew the scaffolding had to go up eventually, and this past week it finally did. This means everyone, and I mean everyone, will need to pay closer attention when navigating the sidewalk. It’s not just piping and poles to be aware of, there are also plywood walls, which may actually help guide you in and around the maze of passageways that are necessary for the type of construction about to begin on the eastern half of the building. The good news is, unlike some construction detours in the city, this one will not require you to venture out into the street or near traffic. The bad news is that the once wide-open, broad sidewalks are now sectioned into six-foot wide corridors. Expect some pedestrian traffic jams. Scaffolding is a necessary evil that you will only appreciate when it’s raining. At least the mailboxes out front are still in place and will not be moving (except for a brief period at the very end of the project when we repave the sidewalk. More details about that in 2016.)

What other irritating news do we have for you? Ah, yes the hot water situation. Now that we removed the old boilers we have to replace them. So the new boilers have been brought in piece by piece and are being welded together in place. This, as you may be well aware, requires a daily shut-off of the gas that powers the hot water heaters. So once again we ask that you bear with us, weekdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm, when there will be plenty of water, but none of it hot. This will continue through the 25th of July.

Before new walls can go up or new staircases and elevators can be installed, there is a great deal of preparation that must go into a renovation of this magnitude. New conduits for electric wires are being run, structural steel beams are being added in the basement where needed, new concrete has been poured to support the new (bigger and more efficient) hot water heaters, and new plumbing is being run to those heaters and the boilers. All this “behind-the-scenes” work is being completed under the strictest guidelines and regulations. There are regularly scheduled on-the-job inspections; which, by the way, we are passing with flying colors.

Within the coming weeks you may notice more activity on the first floor. This will be the first of the new walls, floors and ceilings going in; new air conditioning, too. That part will take a few months to complete, but we are progressing nicely.

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.

Progress on Many Fronts

Things are happening in so many places around Selis Manor, we can hardly keep up with them all.

Let’s start with the basement. If you read last week’s installment you may recall that the old boilers were being dismantled. Well, now they’re gone. Every last piece of cast iron has been sent off for recycling, to begin their new lives as fence posts, farm equipment, manhole covers, barbecues, golf clubs or railroad tracks. I just hope they get recycled into something outdoorsy because they deserve it after having been cooped up in a cellar for the last 35 years. And if they must be turned into some indoor type of item, I hope it’s waffle irons. Mmmmm, waffles.

So the old boilers are out, and for now the building is still getting hot water from the old hot water heater; but the newer, bigger, more energy efficient hot water heaters are in place and waiting to be hooked up. Also in the basement, the old air conditioners and duct work are gone and many walls have been demolished; new structural steel has been installed to shore up a new material lift we will be installing for more efficient trash removal; new electrical lines are being run throughout the classroom spaces; and we are counting down to the time that the entire basement will be back in business.

Now to the courtyard. What is that structure back there? Well, in the spirit of full disclosure, that structure (and please don’t worry, because it is ALL UNDER CONTROL) is a decontamination station for the asbestos abatement happening on the first floor. We are getting rid of all the nasty stuff that was buried under the old floor covering, so that the new building will be clean, healthy, sparkling and asbestos-free. How are they getting rid of the asbestos? Good question. Actually, we haven’t been able to watch the abatement process, as the area is sealed so tightly that no one is allowed in without the proper protection and authorization. But the workers we are using are pros, so we’re confident everything is being handled properly and by-the-book.

We appreciate all your tolerance. There have been jackhammers in the basement and sledgehammers banging against the back wall, and grinders working the first floor, all emitting decibel levels far exceeding the norm. 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.

Safety First

The week of June 16th will probably be known, in the annals of the Selis Manor Renovation, as the week they kept shutting off the hot water every day. So, why is this happening? Why no hot water from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon?

We have a very good answer to that question. It is a matter of safety. The hot water heaters will not be in operation because the gas which fuels them needs to be turned off each day.  Our contractors are doing things by the book. In order to remove the big old clunky boilers which provided heat for the building in each of the last thirty-two winters, those boilers need to be cut into pieces. This is accomplished by blow torch. Following the strictest safety guidelines the main gas line needs to be shut off and, in what is a very meticulous and copious two-hour process, each valve along the line is checked and protected before the first torch is lit. There will be supervision by fire guards, known as a fire watch, and representation by the NYFD. Every precaution will be in place to prevent any mishaps. Even though blowing up the basement might be the quickest way of getting some residents to Stuyvesant Town, we’d prefer to keep the entire building on 23rd Street.

On Friday it was finally time to demolish the first floor Men’s Room. In what has become a tradition during the demolition here, the crew busted through a pipe and water was gushing onto the first floor. The water pipes at Selis Manor lately have given the Dancing Fountains at the Bellagio Hotel a run for their money. At least we learned that this was not the easiest way of mopping an entire floor all at once.

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.

The auditorium is back in business!

We’re happy to say that the Auditorium is back in use, with a new entrance, a slightly different layout, and partitions for VISIONS classes being run simultaneously in the space. Everyone seems to be acclimating to the changes quite nicely.

With demolition in full force in the basement, we know there’s quite a bit of banging and rattling. Some of this rattling caused an old pipe to burst, and unfortunately the building water had to be shut down with very little notice again. This time it was for a much shorter duration, but we apologize that it had to be shut down at all. Normally we like to give residents advance warning, but please understand that the last two incidents were unforeseen accidents and needed to be fixed promptly and properly. We thank you for your understanding and we assure you that we are taking precautions to avoid recurrences.

The week of May 19th is dedicated to flooring. Literally tons of old flooring materials are being removed and carted off. We will be getting down to the bare concrete so we can start fresh with new floors, new layouts for brand new walls and ceilings, and just about brand new everything in the basement and on the first floor.

But we can assure you that things are moving along on schedule, so try not to concern yourselves over the noise and bustle. Enjoy the beautiful weather! And you’ll be enjoying some brand new spaces before you know it!

As always, we appreciate all of your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

What’s happening behind those new walls?

Friday, May 9th was a Big Day. After weeks of behind the scenes demolition there was finally tangible proof that things are moving along. The Auditorium has been reconfigured to the temporary layout it will enjoy for the next two years, or until the final phase in 2016, when that too will be restored as close to its original glory as possible. For now, though, the double-door entrance will be down the west hallway, just opposite the VISIONS reception reception area, where the mailboxes used to be. The current waiting area has been walled off and is much smaller for now.

So what’s happening behind those new walls? First and foremost, the building is getting a slight extension. We will expand the Community Room into the courtyard about 14 feet east in order to make room for the new Laundry Room and the Snack Bar/Community Room. Then it’s onto the restrooms. First the Men’s Room, and then the Ladies’ Room, will get all new paint, tiles and fixtures. We’re hoping this will help us move up a few notches in the world bathroom rankings, which now has us just below the condemned toilets of Calcutta. 😉

Behind that new wall inside the Auditorium, a hole will be cut in the floor for the new stairway to the basement — which sounds like a song title, but it’s not (it would be a pretty depressing one if it were). This new stairway will provide a quick egress from the basement for students, teachers and bowlers alike!

Once again, we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

Is Anything Happening?

Is anything happening? Well, yes, more than you could imagine. The basement demolition is well underway. Ceiling tiles and grids are down, some walls are gone, and the old basement air conditioning ductwork is on its way out. Dozens of cartloads of debris have been brought up and out to be carted away. We appreciate everyone’s patience as this tied up an elevator for a good part of Friday. The mailboxes were moved earlier, this week so mailboxes one through 142 are a little further down, but in the same order as before.

Item of the week: The Great and Controversial Soda Machine Relocation Saga. Sometime during the week of May 12th we are going to have to move all of the soda machines into the Auditorium. The good news is that one machine will fit outside the new Auditorium (near the mailboxes that did not move). So, for the time being, when the Auditorium is closed, after 8:00 pm and on weekends, there will be only one vending machine available. This will be the juice machine, which is the more popular of the two. Because you will not have access to the other soda machines, those tenants who have particular likes should visit those machines before 8:00 pm (especially on a Friday) and get a few extra cans to keep in your refrigerator. We know this is an inconvenience, but it will not be for very long. The new Laundry and Snack Bar/Community Room is scheduled at the beginning of the first phase of construction, and will be up and running before you know it!

Once again, we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.