Areas of Jefferson School City Center Remain Closed After Leak

June 27, 2013

While some parts of the Jefferson School City Center have reopened following a leak Tuesday, other areas could take weeks to repair.

As of Thursday, JABA, Vinegar Hill Cafe, Mary Williams Community Center, The Women's Initiative, Martha Jefferson Hospital Starr Hill Center and Carver Recreation's fitness center were all closed because of damage.

According to CBRE, which manages the building, a mechanical malfunction caused the building's HVAC system to stop working. It leaked into 25 percent of the building.

"It spilled some liquid all over the building and put us out of business for a few days," said Vinegar Hill Cafe general manager Joel Schechtman.

Schechtman says the worst of the damage occurred on the second floor, but his restaurant, which is at ground level, did not go untouched.

Crews spent the day assessing damage and getting busy with repairs.

"There's all kinds of work going on. There's a lot of de-humidifying going on, a lot of drying going on and, unfortunately...there's going to need to be some construction work going on," said Schechtman.

Vinegar Hill Cafe will reopen Friday morning at 8 a.m., but Schechtman says closing the doors for the better part of the week will leave a dent.

"Unfortunately, you don't factor three days of revenue you thought you were going to have, three days that you have zero revenue dollars coming in," he said. "Unfortunately, you're still paying rent and you're still paying certain expenses."

CBRE says the remaining repairs are expected to take about two weeks to complete.

"We are working very quickly to have the entire complex reopened as soon as possible so the community can continue to enjoy the facilities," CBRE said in a statement.

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