Thursday, December 27, 2007

Connolly Properties - Ledger - East Orange orders building fixes

Published in the Star-Ledger, Thursday, December 27, 2007

East Orange orders action to fix Connolly building


Citing continuing code violations and safety concerns at 150 S. Harrison St. in East Orange, city officials ordered the owners of the residential building to take immediate corrective action yesterday.

A team of inspectors from the city fire department, office of emergency management and division of property maintenance visited the building several times yesterday and gave its owners until 4 p.m. to take care of problems, said Regina Perry, city spokeswoman.

By the time the deadline approached, the officials found that some of the remedial work had started, she said. They intend to return today to see if anything else needs to be done.

"The inspectors are actively working with management" to resolve the difficulties, Perry said.

Raw sewage that backed up into the building caused some tenants to be evacuated from the building on Christmas, as well as water to be turned off. Inspectors also found the fire alarm wasn't working.

Water service was restored yesterday, allowing for the return of the tenants, city officials said.

According to East Orange, the owner of the building is Mayfair Hall LLC - D. Connolly of Plainfield. The company's phone number was not working yesterday.

Tenants said about half of the apartments in the 47-unit, five-story building are occupied. Perry said the city has taken the owners to court on numerous occasions over poor living conditions at the building and that the company had been fined for violations.

"It hasn't gotten to the point of evacuation, but we're going to monitor things and see what happens," Perry added.

This story not posted online; transcribed by DD.

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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.