W Downtown developers face lawsuit from neighboring condo

By David Jones | December 03, 2010 06:01PM

The W Downtown Hotel & Residences at 123 Washington Street is facing a $1.6 million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court from a next-door condominium that the new hotel is located dangerously close to the older building’s chimney and ventilation systems.

The Moinian Group, which developed the W, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which manages the property, were named in the lawsuit filed Nov. 9 by 120 Greenwich Place, which claim the W New York Downtown is blocking proper ventilation of the older building’s heating and boiler systems and threatened the older property with rusted nails, falling concrete and other hazards.

Lawyers for Moinian deny the allegations, said they plan to vigorously defend against the suit and claim that the Department of Buildings holds 120 Greenwich responsible for the problem.

“The Moinian Group, as required by law, offered to relocate the flue exhaust for the benefit of the 120 Greenwich Place condominium,” Harry Driezen, general counsel and executive vice president of the Moinian Group, said in an e-mailed statement. “This offer was refused by 120 Greenwich, which demanded a payment of money on top of the relocation of the flue.”

Jeff Schwartz, attorney for 120 Greenwich, said that Moinian “pulled the plug” on an agreement to pay 120 Greenwich under a settlement deal during the summer.

Starwood officials were not immediately available for comment. Department of Buildings officials said they were looking into the matter, but did not return with a comment.