Tenants say luxe Jersey City building floods, is a ‘nightmare’

For Jordan Mendelson, 28, living in a luxury building with a rooftop swimming pool, private gym, floor-to-ceiling views of Manhattan, the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty all within a stone’s throw away from New York City sounded like a dream when she got the keys to her $3,600-per-month two-bedroom apartment in September 2020. But six months later, it became a living nightmare. 

In March of 2021, Mendelson, an attorney, got a frantic call from her fiancé while she was at the hair salon saying the elevator in their 49-story building in Jersey City — 70 Greene — had flooded. 

“There was water pouring down in the elevator. We ended up having to climb up 72 flights of stairs,” Mendelson, who lives on the 36th floor, told The Post. She said it took her 40 minutes to hike up to her apartment, where she found her cat scurrying in fright, amidst no power and a leaky ceiling. 

Slow and stalled elevators have been an on-going issue, Mendelson said.
Slow and stalled elevators have been an ongoing issue, Jordan Mendelson said.
Stefano Giovannini

“We hadn’t experienced anything like this,” she said, noting a pipe bursting in the building. The same thing happened, she said, in April 2022, and once again – and at its worst – earlier this month. That time it was so bad that hordes of residents had to relocate to nearby hotels for four days, sources told The Post. 

According to the listing portal Rent, Jersey City is now the most expensive US city to live in, but those living in 70 Greene say it’s hardly a luxurious life. More than 260 of the building’s residents have been sounding off in a community chat about the building’s management — publicly owned real estate company Equity Residential, which owns numerous waterfront properties in Jersey City, as well as New York City, D.C., Boston, San Francisco and others. Some of the gripes include maintenance staff unable to turn off the building’s water during the most recent floods, which reportedly led to a 9-month pregnant woman falling down a flight of stairs as she tried to exit the building. Other complaints include leaks causing property damage, elevator and hot water outages.

During the last flood, the elevator dropped 10 floors down before the emergency brake kicked in, one source told The Post. (Equity Residential denied this claim.) More proof and scathing reviews can be found on Google, Yelp and TikTok. 

A flooded elevator inside 70 Greene in Jersey City.
Some residents took to social media platforms like TikTok to post about the flooded elevator inside 70 Greene in Jersey City.

“This building is a complete nightmare. It was duct taped together years ago and its pipes explode every six months,” a Yelp user who goes by John B wrote of 70 Greene.

“The elevators were designed by squirrels and only operate 25% of the time. I don’t care what website tells you its [sic] 5 stars or who in the building says its [sic] a luxury building DO NOT LIVE HERE,” he urged in the one-star review.

Other current residents would agree, particularly after the last flood incident.

“You had to find your way through a dark staircase. Coming down 32 flights of stairs was just impossible. It was complete lockdown for the building,” a 46-year-old resident who has lived in the building for five years and asked to remain anonymous told The Post.

“There was no action plan from Equity until four days after the incident. Imagine just being homeless for four days? You couldn’t get a hotel room because the hotels were packed from residents. The fact that it took four days to come up with a resolution plan is unheard of, especially in a place where rents are exorbitant,” they said.

A flooded hallway as a result of pipes bursting at 70 Greene.
A flooded hallway after a pipe burst inside 70 Greene.

A spokesperson for Equity Residential noted that residents will get reimbursed for hotel stays and property damage. The spokesperson told The Post they were unaware that a pregnant woman fell during the August building flooding.

Another resident, Clarissa Latman, posted a video on TikTok after the last flood showing puddles of water leaking from the elevator’s ceiling, a flooded gym, soiled carpet and residents climbing up flights of stairs as firetrucks appeared to assess the situation outside the building.  

“I have lived here for more than three years, and have experienced a number of dangerous conditions which came to a head after our third major flood due to negligent maintenance of the building’s pipes,” another resident, who asked The Post to remain anonymous out of fear of building retaliation, said. “The building has been giving us the run around, not communicating with us,” said the source, who also claimed 70 Greene was “deleting reviews” all the while upping the rent by as much as 30%. 

Jersey City, often called the invisible sixth borough of New York City, can command an average of $5,500 in rent, according to a report by the listing portal Rent as previously reported by The Post. Mendelson started packing her bags after seeing her own two-bedroom apartment listed for $5,942, up from the $3,600 COVID deal she got in 2020. 

“We ended up chasing them [70 Greene] for a lease renewal and they came back at $4,400, but it was still a $600 increase in one year,” Mendelson said,

Another woman paying close to $3,900 for a one-bedroom, who asked The Post to leave her name out, said she suffered $1,500 in property damage from the most recent flood when leaks from the ceiling on her 15th-floor unit damaged clothing, shoes, bedding and personal items in the apartment she shares with her partner. Luckily, she had renter’s insurance and said the building had offered to pitch in.

Jordan Mendelson
and her partner David McLellan live in a luxury high rise building in Jersey City, with leaks and other issues.
A memo posted inside the building notifying residents of a closed amenity space following the flood.
Stefano Giovannini

“Unfortunately we did recently have a pipe burst at 70 Greene which resulted in water damage to a number of apartment units as well as common areas and impacted the regular operation of the elevators,” Equity Residential spokesman Marty McKenna told The Post.

“We have worked with the impacted residents to find other accommodations, which we are paying for. We have also offered rent abatements to the residents. We are working with our contractors to assess the cause of the pipe burst and to make the necessary repairs at 70 Greene.”

Mendelson, however, is wary of such messaging from the management company after all she’s seen. She and her fiancé will be moving next month.

 “It’s not worth it, at the end of the day,” she said.

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