Members of the Adas Yisroel Anshe Synagogue congregation express health-related concerns over the renovation of the space above the synagogue, noting issues with East River Partners and Jody Kriss in the past.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/04/2015 -- While construction is typically a good thing, members of the Adas Yisroel Anshe Synagogue congregation are expressing concerns over the potential health hazards associated with the planned renovation and demolition. The project, headed by East River Partners' principal Jody Kriss, is expected to create three luxury condominium units on the top floor of the synagogue. As part of this project, the synagogue itself will be receiving a complete gut renovation as well. During the process, the congregation will continue to meet on the ground floor.
It is here that some members of the congregation are expressing their concerns with regards to continuing to exercise their religion in a space actively being renovated by Jody Kriss and East River Partners. Earlier in 2014, a lawsuit titled Lewis Pine et al v. ERP West 86th Street LLC arose surrounding health hazards at occupied East River Partners construction projects. Two families, including an infant, were exposed to high levels of lead and asbestos. Jody Kriss and East River Partners settled the case out of court, but not before the families were driven from their homes.
In a similar case, Joseph Brun v ERP Park Slope, LLC and Jody Kriss, an identical situation occurred, with the case claiming that "work ".. rendered Plaintiff's Apartment dangerous to inhabit if not completely uninhabitable." The "Work resulted in the release of heavy and excessive dust" which contained "highly elevated levels of lead [and] asbestos.""
Press releases from 2014 show that East River Partners and Jody Kriss have been known in the past to ignore stop work orders from the State of New York on multiple occasions. Congregation members state that they do not wish for this to be the case, especially with several members of the synagogue in bad health.
"I know people, even people in the congregation here, who suffer from mesothelioma as a result of being in construction areas containing asbestos," says one member. "After reading the cases, I am concerned that this will not be taken into account during the renovation process." The building, located at 415 East 5th Street in the East Village, was built in 1901.
Jodylkriss.com is a website dedicated to explaining issues surrounding Jody Kriss and East River Partners, and the lawsuits that have caused health concerns in the past for tenants. The site currently operates independently and is owned by a concerned citizen in Manhattan.