Air conditioning back on at Perkins Rowe

Air conditioning started to return for Perkins Rowe businesses and tenants Wednesday afternoon, after a line that supplies chilled water to the development’s air conditioning system was broken.

Donna Taylor, of Stirling Properties, which manages Perkins Rowe, said the service was being restored to affected businesses. Taylor said there has been work on the underground systems of the development for the past few weeks, which led to the chilled water line being disrupted.

While most of the affected businesses opened their doors and took advantage of the late spring weather, rising temperatures forced the Cinemark Perkins Rowe movie theater to close Wednesday.

“It’s been uncomfortable,” said Sergio Yibrin, manager of Sur La Table. Yibrin said while sales were better than normal Tuesday, customers spent less time in the kitchenware store. “At least the weather is better than yesterday.”

The air conditioning outage had affected Yibrin at home: he lives in a condominium above the Barnes & Noble bookstore.

“It was pretty hot in there last night, but I had a place where I could go,” he said. “But the other people who live there were furious.”

Evette Sierra, a merchandiser for Urban Outfitters, said keeping the doors open lowered the temperature on the first floor of the trendy retailer.

“But it’s getting hot on the other floors and in the dressing rooms and the other parts of the store that aren’t open to customers,” she said. “Plus, the heat is causing the floors to get wet.”

Some tenants have their own air conditioning systems so not all of the businesses in Perkins Rowe have been affected by the outage. The NeuroMedical Center and the Fresh Market grocery store, two high profile tenants, had air conditioning.

The air conditioning problems complicated the long-running dispute between Perkins Rowe developer Tommy Spinosa and the property’s new ownership group, led by TPG Capital, of Texas, over the chilled water plant that provides air conditioning for the development.

Spinosa’s lender, Key Bank National Association, unsuccessfully attempted to seize the chilled water plant, the property of Spinosa’s Central Facilities, during foreclosure procedures on Perkins Rowe.

In March, Perkins Rowe’s management firm, Stirling Properties, applied for a permit for a new chilled water plant and piping.

A spokeswoman for Spinosa, Kelly D. Vastine, said Wednesday that TPG’s contractor, Gallo Mechanical, broke the chilled water line.

When asked how the line was broken, Vastine said that is a question for TPG. Spinosa did not give permission to Gallo to tie into the chilled water line.

TPG spokesman Adam Levine said the company could not comment.

Vastine said if TPG builds a new chilled water plant, Central Facilities will continue servicing its remaining customers.

Several of the largest customers will remain on the Central Facilities system, minimizing impact to the plant’s value, she said.

Plans are in place to diversify the facility so that any excess equipment will be used for other purposes.