A Russian billionaire’s wife is looking to land the board of her Central Park South apartment building in hot water.
Aleksandra Melnichenko, the wife of industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, has filed a lawsuit against the board of 110 Central Park South, alleging it covered up defects in the building’s roof, façade, windows and terrace doors that caused water damage in her duplex penthouse.
In a suit filed June 29 in federal court, the former model alleges that board members were aware of the property’s construction defects before she purchased the $12.2 million pad in 2010. In fact, the board itself sued developer Anbau Enterprises, which converted the former hotel into a cond-op, two weeks before the Melnichenkos closed on their apartment.
The suit seeks at least $2 million in damages for the board’s “misrepresentations and omissions,” court filings show.
The Melnichenkos – Andrey is worth a reported $10.1 billion, according to Forbes – scooped up the penthouse six years ago to use as a pied-à-terre.
Spanning 2,800 square feet, the duplex is spread over the 28th and 29th floors of the 68-unit building, a former Intercontinental Hotel that Anbau purchased in 2006. After a gut renovation, the developer added three stories to the property, including the floors comprising the Melnichenkos’ apartment.
But construction-related issues, including leaks, quickly emerged, the suit alleges.
By 2010, 110 CPS’ board hired consultants to investigate deficiencies involving the new floors; they discovered open-roof flashing, unsealed doorsills, open masonry joints and deficiencies in the facades of the three new floors. The board later sued Anbau on the basis of those defects; that suit is ongoing.
But according to Melnichenko’s suit, the board’s property manager assured her that there were no issues related to her unit when she was getting ready to close.
Only after Melnichenko began a multi-million dollar renovation did she learn the full extent of the problem, when workers removing finishes in the apartment discovered extensive water leakage, according to the suit.
Although the board subsequently repaired the roof and other defects, Melnichenko’s renovation was delayed by at least 18 months, and she had to shell out an additional $2 million in costs and fees.
Had she known about the “true conditions” of the apartment, the suit says, she would have negotiated a lower price “or, failing that, forgone the purchase altogether.”
The couple, who currently live in Switzerland, reportedly own homes in Moscow, France and the U.K., pieces from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series, as well as a $300 million yacht.