St. Felix gets hot over boiler

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The tractor trailer–sized, graffiti-scarred mobile boiler that’s been heating a neighborhood church since November — and offending the sensibilities of its aesthetically-minded neighbors on one side of the church for nearly as long — will be gone by April 16, said church officials. But, the congregation’s wrangling with the next-door neighbors on the other side of the church should continue for the foreseeable future.

Until recently, the Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church, on St. Felix and Hanson Place, got its heat and hot water from the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, which sits next door. But when Magic Johnson and the Dermot Group bought the building in 2005 and began turning it into luxury condominiums, the church found itself without access to a boiler (hence the need for the mobile boiler unit).

“All the owners after Williamsburgh Bank and before Dermot gave us heat, at first for free, and then, over the years, for a nominal fee,” said Pastor Patrick Perrin. “The new owners are putting a new system in their building, so we have to put a new system in ours.”

Perrin believes that a gentleman’s agreement reached years ago with the prior owners of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower should still apply, and that the church still has the right to use its neighbor’s boiler.

“Because of the years of service, we might have a case, if we can afford to fight it,” said Perrin. “But we can’t find a paper trail.”

Negotiations with the developers have yet to bear fruit. In the meantime, the church has borrowed nearly $300,000 to buy a new boiler — for which Perrin hopes to be reimbursed.

Dermot’s representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

But, the mobile boiler’s scheduled removal next week will satisfy Perrin’s residential neighbors, like Nicholas Wong, who lives directly in the shadow of the grey boiler truck.

“I haven’t been able to park in front of my house since November,” complained Wong. “And it’s an eyesore.”

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: