“The developer of 432 Park Avenue, one of the world’s tallest and most luxurious condominium towers, on Wednesday filed its answer to a $125 million lawsuit from the building’s condo board over alleged construction defects, calling the board’s suit ‘ill-advised’ and ‘an effort to wrest unwarranted payments’ from the developer,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The answer, filed in New York State Supreme Court by an entity controlled by Los Angeles-based CIM Group, also alleged that the complaints raised by the board had been ‘vastly exaggerated.’”
Sounds like a problem to Your Survival Guy. Because my idea of “vastly exaggerated” may be different than a billionaire’s, but I can assure you I was jolted reading this in The Wall Street Journal: “In one incident, according to the suit, a worker attempting to address the water infiltration issues allegedly drilled through concrete into the building’s electrical wiring, causing an arc-flash explosion, the second in the building in three years, and inadvertently damaged the building’s electrical supply. The worker, employed by the sponsor, was allegedly thrown backward several feet.”
Now, no one likes to hear about other people’s problems, especially billionaires. No, we don’t like it. We love it. It’s a national past time. So, when reading in The Wall Street Journal, “The suit also alleged that the developers failed to account for the building’s height and sway when it came to the design of the elevators, which the suit alleged had repeatedly malfunctioned, trapping residents and their family members for hours at a time and making it near impossible for others to access their apartments.” I can’t help but imagine what the small talk was like. “How’s business?” “What floor you on?” Care to share an elevator?” “I’m up on 1,050.”
Intrigued, Your Survival Guy looked up the height of the Empire State building with a roof height (no antenna) of only 1,250 feet compared to 1,379 feet for 432 Park Ave. It’s up there. And it looks like a toothpick with windows where one wonders how it stays up, which, I guess, I’m not alone in wondering. “In its filing in September, the board of the building alleged that residents were plagued with issues of noise, severe flooding and elevator malfunctions,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “In the suit, the board complained of ‘horrible and obtrusive noise and vibrations,’ including creaking, banging and clicking noises. Putting trash in the trash chute sounded like the detonation of a bomb, according to the suit. The issues for some residents were so severe that they were displaced from their units for as long as 19 months while the sponsor tried to fix the problems, the suit alleged.”
All in all, according to the lawsuit, 1,500 alleged defects, breakdowns, failures and safety issues and as The Wall Street Journal reports, “The board’s suit also alleged that issues of severe flooding and water damage had been treated with a ‘Band-Aid’ approach by the developers. In 2018, two leaks caused by ‘poor plumbing installation’ caused water to enter the building’s elevator shafts, halting two of the four residential elevators from service for weeks and causing damage to 35 apartments, the suit alleged.”
That’s no way to live. As the The Wall Street Journal notes:
Listing website StreetEasy shows that a number of the building’s most valuable apartments are currently on the market. They include a Japan-inspired, full-floor apartment owned by Mitch Julis, a co-founding partner of the Los Angeles hedge fund Canyon Capital Advisors, which is asking $135 million. Also listed is the project’s top-floor penthouse, owned by Fawaz Al Hokair, a Saudi billionaire property mogul, which is on the market for $169 million, according to people familiar with the building.
The building is known for drawing some of the world’s wealthiest people, including finance-industry leaders, celebrities and high-profile real-estate executives. Some of the biggest names who have called the building home include superstar Jennifer Lopez and her former partner, onetime Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. The apartments are also some of the priciest in the world. Mr. Al Hokair paid $87.66 million for his penthouse in 2016, one of the highest prices ever paid for a New York apartment, records show. In more recent years, sellers in the building have faced competition from a group of new towers erected on Billionaires’ Row, including 220 Central Park South, 111 West 57th Street and Central Park Tower.