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Condo board for luxury NYC skyscraper sues over 1,500 design flaws

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A condo board representing the residents of one of the tallest and ritziest buildings on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row have sued the developers of the ultra-luxe building, alleging that over 1,500 design flaws have led to flooding, electrical explosions and “horrible and obtrusive noise and vibration.”

The board accused the developers of the 1,396-foot skyscraper at 432 Park Ave. for failing to properly design the building and refusing to take responsibility for issues that have “endangered and inconvenienced residents, guests, and workers,” according to the suit, filed Thursday evening in New York Supreme Court.

“This case presents one of the worst examples of sponsor malfeasance in the development of a luxury condominium in the history of New York City,” the suit claims, referring to the building’s developers, CIM Group and Macklowe Properties.

“What was promised as one of the finest condominiums in the City was instead delivered riddled with over 1500 identified construction and design defects to the common elements of the Building alone (leaving aside the numerous defects within individual units),” the suit goes on.

The soaring tower, just south of Central Park, is among the tallest buildings in New York City and one of the most expensive addresses in the world. It was designed by the firm of star architect Rafael Vinoly and opened in 2015.

The building, which once boasted an eye-popping estimated sellout value of $3.1 billion, was constructed as part of a boom in the NYC ultra-luxe condo market.

The board accused the developers of the 1,396-foot skyscraper at 432 Park Ave. for failing to properly design the building.
REUTERS

Top sales in the building came from an anonymous buyer in 2019 who purchased three units on the 92nd and 93rd floors for a whopping $91.12 million, The Post previously reported.

And it’s drawn celebrity buyers like then-couple Jennifer Lopez and Aaron Rodriguez who sold their 4,000-square-foot pad in the Midtown tower for almost $2 million under the asking price in 2019.

But now, residents at the tower feel ripped off — to the tune of $250 million that they’re suing for — the suit says.

“Unit owners paid tens of millions of dollars to acquire units. Far from the ultraluxury spaces that they were promised, however, Unit Owners were sold a building plagued by breakdowns and failures that have endangered and inconvenienced residents, guests, and workers, and repeatedly been the subject of highly critical accounts in the press and social media,” according to the complaint.

After the building’s sponsor, 56th and Park Owner LLC, allegedly failed to respond to residents’ complaints, the board hired an engineering consultant to investigate the building in early 2019, the suit says.

The board-hired consultant identified more than 1,500 construction and design defects in the building — “many of which are described as life safety issues,” according to the suit.

At the core of the issue is the developers’ failure from the beginning to account for the 96-story tower’s “remarkable height,” which has led to repeated flooding, noise and vibration, the suit says.

Richard Ressler, chairman of CIM, one of the building’s developers, admitted that the vibration issues were “intolerable,” making it difficult to sleep during periods of even moderately inclement weather,” the suit alleges.

The board also identified the elevators as a critical issue, saying that they’ve “repeatedly shut down entirely, trapping residents and unit owner family members.”

“On multiple occasions residents and family members have been trapped in elevators that have shut down for hours while awaiting rescue,” the suit says.

The board also alleged that the building has suffered from “multiple incidents of severe flooding and widespread water damage” due to what it described in the suit as poor oversight of contractors.”

And the failure of the building’s sponsor to “mark the locations of electrical wiring buried in concrete” in the building has allegedly led to two electrical explosions in the past three years, the suit says.

Residents have borne the brunt of the financial responsibility of responding to the incidents while the building’s developers “dickered with its contractors and insurance carriers over” who was on the hook for the bill, the suit says.

Representatives for CIM and Macklowe Properties did not return The Post’s request for comment.

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Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for almost all the sections of Editorials99.

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