Imagine not being able to see the weather outside from your home or opening your windows for nearly one year.
Neighbors in a West Loop neighborhood condo building told NBC 5 Investigates that a giant tarp covering a section of their building makes it feel like they “live in a box.”
“It’s been like you’re in a jail with no fresh air, no sunlight,” said condo owner Sushil Narsinghani.
Narsinghani and other residents’ condos are situated directly behind the white tarp, which covers the east side of the Clinton Complex at 500 S. Clinton St. in Chicago. The tarp was installed in January and is being used as part of a multi-year masonry project at the building.
Condo owner Megan McDonnell said she has no clue what the weather is outside on a daily basis.
“It’s constantly stuffy in here,” McDonnell said. “If I turn my air off it just gets super humid in here.”
Residents also said construction dust is entering their homes and contributing to their concerns.
Narsinghani said his wife, Bella, would get up in the middle of the night “choking” because there is no fresh air. The couple has since temporarily moved out of their condo.
“I should be given an option to decide if I want this or if I can plan ahead and move somewhere else,” Narsinghani said.
The building’s property manager, Sam Segvich of Delaware Realty, directed NBC 5 Investigates to the Clinton Complex Condominium Association.
Attorney David Hartwell emailed NBC 5 Investigates on behalf of the condo association. He wrote that the protective tarp is required by the city of Chicago and has been verified on three separate occasions by city inspectors to appropriate and consistent with code.
“While the Board appreciates how this project affects unit owners, this work is necessary to protect the building and all of the residents,” Hartwell wrote on behalf of the condo association.
The Chicago Department of Buildings approved the masonry project in August, 2018. A spokesperson said there are no requirements specific to tarps in the city’s building code.
However, the spokesperson told NBC 5 Investigates that after inspectors visited the site, the city agreed that the tarp should be kept in place until the work is completed to keep the area safe, mitigate dust and protect the building’s façade from deterioration from the elements.
According to the condo association, the tarp is scheduled to be removed in the next few weeks.