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Friday, February 26, 2010

Connolly Properties: The drip, drip, drip is worse than Chinese water torture

Pingry Arms and Viola's Place are a stone's throw from City Hall.

If Plainfield's largest landlord, David Connolly, thinks the persistent drip, drip, drip of the coverage of his property and financial woes he gets in the Courier News is like Chinese water torture, he should spend a night in one of his tenants' apartments -- where the dripping is real, continuous and unaddressed.

Here is part of an email received Thursday evening from a tenant in Pingry Arms, Connolly's property at 606 Crescent Avenue, on the corner of East 7th Street --
I should mention that Oscar Turk and the health inspector were in my building today. Our roof is leaking again and part of my ceiling in my kitchen has collapsed.

I first contacted Connolly Properties last Tuesday, Feb. 16 about my wet walls and then contacted the building inspection department. The building inspector came out last Wednesday and again this Monday. Numerous calls to Connolly Properties ended with promises of someone inspecting my apartment, but none came until yesterday when Adrian Mapp, Bibi Taylor, and the mayor got involved.

I may have to move to another apartment and I'm concerned about the work involved and that I don't want to have anyone above me. The third floor has apartment water damage and water in the hallway, the same as we have on the fifth (top) floor. Ms. Taylor and the mayor have promised their support to resolve this and have Mr. Connolly finally repair the roof correctly. (Emphasis added -- Dan).

Note the tenant says they got no action from Connolly management until Councilor Mapp, City Administrator Bibi Taylor and the mayor got involved.

Meanwhile, Plainfield beat reporter Mark Spivey reported in Wednesday's Courier on Connolly's problems at Viola's Place, across the corner of 7th Street from the Pingry Arms (see story here).

Problems here included a non-working elevator which, according to one tenant, has been inoperable for SEVEN MONTHS, in addition to a recent five-day stretch with NO HEAT (lack of heat also being a problem at Settle's Place, a Connolly building at West 7th Street and Plainfield Avenue).

Another reader, who lives in Connolly's Front Street Towers building in the 600-block of East Front Street, recently wrote on her blog about issues with a new next-door neighbor with people going in and out at all hours (an indicator of drugs or other illegal activity, in my humble opinion). Again with Connolly's management folks doing nothing about the problems.

The kicker in the most recent Courier story is that when Judge Crosby assessed Connolly Properties $910 in fines and costs on Wednesday, Connolly attorney Derek Reed asked for 'an extra week in which to pay the fines'.

An 'extra week' for an amount that should be a mere pittance for a firm managing upwards of 3,000 apartments?

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

The Connolly Properties mess looks like a slow-motion avalanche, with the tenants bearing the brunt of the problems of deteriorating conditions in the buildings.

Can the City do more to ensure the safety and well-being of the tenants?

Should it?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rob said...

Yes it should and yes it could. The city chooses not to. Something as simple as neighborhood grips about all the tenants parking on the street because Connelley charges for parking could be addressed with a simple zoning change. The city won't do it. So to answer your questions better...the city should but won't.

Anonymous said...

Shameful. Why hasn't Connolly been arrested? Certainly there is SOMETHING on the law books that would enable Plainfield police to arrest this man!