Chicago Residents Frustrated By Long Elevator Wait Times

People expect to see long lines at amusement park rides or grocery store checkout lanes on a weekend but imagine standing in a line inside your home with a dozen or more other people.

Residents of Presidential Towers in Chicago’s West Loop told NBC 5 Investigates that they have stood in line for up to an hour at times, for the elevator inside their 49-story apartment building.

“Walking down was fine but coming back up, forty floors, is just insane,” said tenant Purvi Patki.

A recent 311 complaint filed with the city of Chicago mentions significant elevator delays, expired certificates and security doors getting stuck in Tower 4 of Presidential Towers.

According to residents, the elevator delays have been happening sporadically for at least a year. Tenants have created a Facebook group where people post photos of long lines near the elevator.

“I think that the residents here are just sick and tired of that and not knowing how quickly they’ll be able to get to their apartment after work or if they have an important appointment or something,” said another tenant Adam Bevan.

Residents met with the property management company in July to express their concerns.

“I am fine, I am young, I can walk...what about the people who can’t do that? What if there’s a medical emergency? What if somebody’s life is at stake?” Patki added.

The tower’s management company Waterton said it understands the residents’ frustration and is working with the elevator contractor to expedite efforts and ensure reliable service to residents.

“In the past 90 days, the elevator contractor has made numerous adjustments, some of which required certain elevators to be taken out of service for hours or days at a time," said Lela Cirjakovic, executive vice president, operations, at Waterton. "Email communications were sent to residents in advance of and following completion of these planned outages. Currently all four elevators in Tower 4 are operational. We will continue to work diligently along with the elevator contractor to provide reliable service to residents."

A city inspector with the Chicago Department of Buildings stopped by Tower 4 this week and found that all four elevators are operational. Still, the building is due in administrative hearing court on Nov. 14, regarding two non-compliant elevators. A Department of Buildings representative said that that is more than likely due to an elevator certification issue.

Bevan said it should be a top priority of the management to provide new elevators.

“We deserve that,” Bevan said.

If you live in the city and have similar elevator concerns, you can file a 311 complaint.

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