Condo board sues over SoulCycle’s “earsplitting” music, positivity

Altair 18’s residents said unpermitted construction caused flood
By E.B. Solomont | February 05, 2018 04:50PM

Apparently, the only thing worse than paying $34 to ride a stationary bicycle in a dark room, wear branded spandex and listen to trance music, is living above a SoulCycle. Residents of a Flatiron condominium filed a lawsuit last week against SoulCycle, complaining about “earsplitting music” and “screams of encouragement” that emanate from the fitness studio at all hours of the day.

In a Feb. 2 lawsuit, the board of Altair 18 said the fitness studio — located on the ground floor of 32 West 18th Street — has also engaged in unpermitted after-hours construction since leasing the space in May. The suit named SoulCycle and Dalan Management, which owns the commercial space.

According to the suit, the SoulAnnex studio — which opened last year — is operating illegally since it never obtained a “physical culture establishment” permit, which is required for health clubs and fitness studios. (The commercial unit is zoned for retail.) SoulCyle also failed to obtain construction permits, resulting in multiple violations from the city’s Department of Buildings. On Dec. 29, it was given a violation for not having an automatic sprinkler on site, the suit said. And then there’s the noise.

In the suit, residents of Altair 18 — where apartments sell for an average of $4.2 million — said they have been subjected to “unreasonably loud music blared through large speakers” and shouts of encouragement from instructors, “which are amplified by microphones and pumped out by the speakers.” There’s also the thudding of weights, which residents likened to the sound of bowling balls clanking. “The noise creates a cacophony of sound that awakens the owners of the Second Floor Units in the morning, and provides a nearly constant source of excessive and intrusive noise throughout the day,” according to the suit.

But the suit said the icing on the cake was last month, when an ice machine in the studio caused “excessive” flooding in the basement, which rendered the building’s own gym useless. (According to the complaint, the flood was related to unpermitted plumbing work.)

Altair 18, with 22 units, was developed by Extell Development, which also developed Altair 20, located at 15 West 20th Street. The Gary Barnett-led firm sold off the properties’ retail spaces for $6.1 million in 2012. In 2014, Dalan bought the commercial units for $9.8 million.

In an email, Dalan’s Andrew Wrublin said the court on Monday rejected the board’s motion for a temporary restraining order to stop SoulCycle from conducting their business. “We will continue to defend against this unfortunate litigation,” he wrote.