‘Absolutely horrible.’ East Orange apartment tenants say elevator has been down for over a month
Tenants in an East Orange apartment building say they haven’t had a working elevator for a month.
The building located at 75 Prospect Street is called “The Castle,” but tenants say that they do not feel like royalty – especially those who need an elevator every day to get up and down 10 floors.
“This one has been out for a month or more,” says tenant Yvonne Mitchell.
For Mitchell, physically climbing 20 flights of stairs is impossible. She must find a different way to get to her apartment on the 10th floor.
First, she must get on an elevator in the opposite wing of the complex. Then she has to go up two flights of stairs to get to the roof and then down two more flights to get to her apartment.
“It’s been absolutely horrible. As I said, I have double knee replacement, back issues, herniated and bulging discs in my back,” Mithcell says.
Other tenants who have disabilities have also complained about having to use the roof.
“I don’t go unless my daughter is with me,” says Denise Wright. “I feel if I fall, if I have an accident, at least someone could tell I’m up there.”
Other tenants say that repairs are neglected.
“I don’t know if the elevator is a play to push us out, but a lot of work is not being done in the apartments. I’ve had a hole in my ceiling for about a year,” says Erica Coleman.
Coleman suggests that Platinum Management, the company that operates the building, wants to take the current 44 units and split them up into 90.
A spokesperson for Platinum Management tells News 12 that they want to “ultimately redevelop” the complex. But is the company intentionally not fixing the building to force people out?
“That is 100% incorrect. We’ve spent thousands of dollars on day-to-day maintenance,” Platinum spokesperson Effy Tilman said in a statement. “We’ve pumped in hundreds of thousands of dollars already.”
Tilman added that the company has taken on $1 million in debt partially because “50% of the tenants are delinquent.”
The spokesperson adds that the company has been waiting on parts to fix the elevator. He says the elevator should be fixed by the end of Monday.
Mitchell says that she hopes this is true. She says she will not pay rent until the issue is corrected.
“This is not only a health issue, but also a mental issue. It’s causing a lot of anxiety,” she says.
The city of East Orange is aware of the issue. Platinum Management will be fined $2,000 for each day the elevator is not fixed.