UPDATE: Elevator Shutdown in Building with Elderly Residents to be Postponed

  Last modified on July 28th, 2022

101 West 85th Street (Google Maps, October 2017)

It has been a tumultuous five days for the tenants of 101 West 85th Street, but after some early morning drama and some late legal flex, most can breathe at least a temporary sigh of relief.


At 8:00 p.m. on July 20, residents were given notice that their only operational elevator would be shut down for at least eight to ten weeks starting on the morning of Monday, July 25. Outraged tenants took to social media to lambast the management company, 85th Columbus Corporation (whose parent company is RCR Management).

The two residents we spoke with were primarily concerned with their elderly and disabled neighbors who would be effectively imprisoned in their apartments for the duration of what management described as a ‘modernization’ project.

When we shared the story on Instagram, one of the building’s elderly tenants had this to say:

“I live in this building on sixth floor. I am 81 years old and don’t know how I will carry up groceries and washed laundry. This is a completely unnecessary upgrade. Elevator works fine. Landlord 85th Columbus Avenue Reality Co. has always been disinterested in tenants needs. I suspect landlord is upgrading to make more attractive for coop conversion after work completed. He gave us three days notice and temperatures are now in the 90s. Why not wait for cooler weather at least?”

READ MORE: 2021 Worst Landlord List Includes These on the Upper West Side

People familiar with the building — both residents and visitors — also shed some light in the comments section of our original write-up. “One tenant is 76 with a heart condition,” wrote A.M.


On Monday morning, it appeared the shutdown was moving forward. Two residents told ILTUWS that management had taken the elevator out of service. One confirmed that chairs were placed “around the hallways on each floor and [that they] hired, through an agency, a [very large] young man to help carry stuff for tenants up the stairs.”

Tenants received an early morning notice from Andy Eagle, a managing agent for 85th Columbus Corporation, who confirmed the temporary muscle while noting that chairs had been placed on floors 2-5 “in case residents need temporary resting spots while traveling up and down the stairs.”

Eagle did not provide any information as to how management intended to assist residents who were not able to use the stairs to begin with.

After the elevator was shut down for several hours on Monday, tenants received an email update that the work would be delayed until July 27. However, two tenants later reported that an attorney was able to postpone the modernization until August 10.


No information was provided to tenants as to what accommodations management would be offering. But one tenant sent ILTUWS the text of a letter sent by the management’s attorney to the tenant’s legal counsel. From what we saw, it appears that management is open to providing accommodations — though it vowed not to negotiate after August 8.

“Dear Sam:  I have confirmed with my client that the notice will be posted in the building this evening. Therefore, the modernization of the elevator will begin on August 10, 2022. As per our conversation, you have represented that we should have the following information from you this evening:

  1. A list of the tenants you represent, including names; apartment numbers; number of occupants in the apartment.
  2. A list of the specific accommodations each tenant is seeking.
To be clear, we are expecting that this will be substantially if not fully resolved in the next few days. In any event, under no circumstances will we continue negotiations beyond August 8, 2020.”

Several residents have confirmed that there is a second elevator next to the one marked for modernization. However, that elevator has been shut down since a fire in the 1960s and is “bricked in.”

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