SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was October 2017 when the former Dietz Lantern Factory on Wilkinson Street in Syracuse was turned into a luxurious apartment complex featuring 92 upscale lofts.
Less than two years after opening, the management company is forcing residents to temporarily vacate because of elevated lead levels.
A spokesperson with the company tells NewsChannel 9 they were recently made aware of lead-containing dust on the property, likely caused by sandblasting ceilings, beams, and brick, years prior to renovating the building:
“We contracted a USEPA-certified lead risk assessor who collected and analyzed more than 1,000 samples throughout the building. Tests confirmed the presence of lead in quantities above EPA standards in approximately 7 percent of the samples obtained from easily accessible areas in the building.”
A handful of tenants told NewsChannel 9 they’re frustrated. One said he’s not re-signing his lease and knows of at least 10 others who’ve already moved out.
The president of the Paulus Development, Matthew Paulus, gave our newsroom a statement that reads in part:
“We continue to have no evidence the presence of lead dust has impacted the health of any of our residents.”
Out of an abundance of caution, an aggressive construction plan is set in place that will temporarily dim the lights inside the old lantern factory.
The company will place tenants in phases to the Residence Inn by the Marriot, Syracuse Downtown. Residents will not have to pay for the hotel, nor will they have to pay their rent for the time they’re being forced to vacate.
We’re told the work will be done in phases, each expected to last about two weeks.
The first set of tenants will have to be out of their units by 8 a.m. on April 15. Construction throughout the building is expected to be completed by the end of June.
For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla