Residents of 432 Park Sue developers for $ 125 million, citing flaws

The board of directors of the 432 Park Avenue supertall tower, one of the most expensive addresses in the world, is suing the developers...


The board of directors of the 432 Park Avenue supertall tower, one of the most expensive addresses in the world, is suing the developers for $ 125 million in damages, citing multiple flooding, faulty elevators, “intolerable noise” Caused by the rocking of the building and an explosion in June – the second in three years – that cut power to residents, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The nearly 1,400-foot-tall tower, designed by the firm of star architect Rafael Viñoly, was first examined in February, when the Times revealed many of the claims made in the new costume.

“This case presents one of the worst examples of wrongdoing by a sponsor in the development of a luxury condominium in the history of New York City,” referring to the developers, CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, according to the complaint filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York. . The damage includes the estimated cost to repair some 1,500 construction and design defects in common building elements that were identified by an engineering firm hired by the condominium board; it does not include potential punitive damages or separate lawsuits that individual residents might bring.

The damage could increase, said Jonathan Adelsberg, a partner at Herrick Feinstein, who represents the condominium board, which residents took over from the sponsor in 2020.

“It’s almost like peeling an onion,” he said, referring to flaws that could still be discovered. “It’s a work in progress to figure out what’s wrong. “

“Every commitment and condition contained in the 432 fleet plan and offering statement has been honored,” a spokesperson for the sponsor, which includes the CIM Group, said in a statement, adding that some of the “maintenance items and remaining fencing ‘were obstructed by the condominium board.

Macklowe Properties, the other developer, did not return requests for comment.

Built in 2015 with a projected sale value of $ 3.1 billion, the pencil-shaped tower marked a peak in luxury condo development in the city – much of it aimed at part-time residents and investors. who have hidden their identity behind shell companies. Buyers include Saudi retail tycoon Fawaz Alhokair, who bought an $ 88 million apartment on the 96th floor; a member of the Beckmann family who owns the Jose Cuervo Tequila brand; and the one-time twinning of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, who bought a 4,000 square foot apartment for $ 15.3 million in 2018, and sold it about a year later.

“Far from the ultra-luxurious spaces that were promised to them, however, unit owners were sold a building plagued by breakdowns and failures that endangered and inconvenienced residents,” says the complaint.

The complaint cited faults in a number of interrelated systems in the building, many of which present “life safety” issues.

Residents have been trapped “repeatedly” for hours in stranded elevator cabins, at least in part because of the sway of the building that occurs in towers of such immense height, the lawsuit said.

There have been a number of flooding and leaks, both on the upper floors and in the basement, which council attributes to improper plumbing installation. Some 35 units and common areas were damaged by water, causing millions of damage, and a flood disabled two residential elevators for weeks.

Noise complaints related to the quality of the construction were frequent. The lawsuit claims that even Richard Ressler, one of the founders of The CIM Group and a unit owner once said the noise and vibration issues were “intolerable” and made it difficult to sleep in bad weather. Another resident said the garbage chute “sounds like a bomb” when the garbage is thrown out.

The lawsuit said the decision to go public was the result of the developers’ inadequate “band-aid approach” to solving numerous problems. While attempting to plug a leak at a sub-level of the building last June, a contractor mistakenly pierced the electrical wiring, causing an explosion “which threw the contractor back several meters into the air” , cut off the electricity of some residents. , and turn off the air conditioning system. The repairs cost more than $ 1.5 million.

The 125-unit building is nearly sold out, but since reports of defects in the building were reported in February, resales have been slow, according to Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty.

There are 11 units for sale, she said, ranging from around $ 7 million for a two-bedroom, low-story apartment to $ 169 million for the penthouse. Since January, only one sale has been closed.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Residents of 432 Park Sue developers for $ 125 million, citing flaws
Residents of 432 Park Sue developers for $ 125 million, citing flaws
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