Safety Issues and Defects of Troubled Supertall Tower Are ‘Vastly Exaggerated,’ Developer Says

The Four Percent


Residents were also aggrieved by a sudden increase in the fees they paid for a private restaurant on the premises — $15,000 a year, up from $1,200 a year when the building opened.

The sponsor said that it had paid for the losses at the restaurant — which were partly because of lower than anticipated use — through mid-2019, well beyond its legal obligation, and that residents were now responsible for the increased cost.

It is not uncommon for residents to seek additional work from a developer after they take over a condo board, typically a few years after construction is completed or when a sales threshold is met. And given the complicated nature of this project — briefly the tallest residential building in the city, and still one of its slenderest towers — it is no exception.

In its response to the condo board’s lawsuit, the sponsor accepted responsibility for some of the items identified, noting that “432 Park’s sophisticated symphony of systems needed to be fine-tuned when residents began to move into the building.” But it claimed that the resident board constantly canceled appointments for repair work, and that the residents were now “manufacturing an ever-increasing list of demands.”

The sponsor also said that, during a virtual meeting in October, the residential board president told unit owners that the building was safe, despite claims of life-safety issues.

“The Sponsor’s efforts to completely live up to its obligations have been continuously restricted and inexplicably limited by the Board, against the interests of all the owners,” Jay A. Neveloff, a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, who represents the sponsor, said in a statement.

“The claims that they arbitrarily blocked access to the building are not based on fact,” Jonathan A. Adelsberg, a partner at Herrick Feinstein and a lawyer for the residential board, said in a statement. “Over a five-year period — despite numerous mistakes and damage caused by its contractors — the Sponsor repeatedly defied the usual and customary safety protocols that apply to repair work in all skyscrapers in New York City.”


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