Texas condo owner blames Manhattan developer’s son for luxury tower defects

Lawsuit claims “inexperienced” son piloted Austin construction project and “cut corners and costs”

TRD NATIONAL /
Aug.August 18, 2020 04:05 PM
Sackman Enterprises' CJ Sackman and 70 Rainey Street in Austin Texas (Sackman via Real Insight; Rendering via Page Architects)

Sackman Enterprises’ CJ Sackman and 70 Rainey Street in Austin Texas (Sackman via Real Insight; Rendering via Page Architects)

A luxury condo owner in Texas claims a Manhattan-based developer put his “inexperienced” son in charge of the building’s construction — which led to an array of defects that included uneven floors, corroded plumbing and curved walls.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Amit Patel alleges developer Sackman Enterprises, its Texas subsidiary and company executives have failed to fix shoddy work at the 70 Rainey Street condo building in Austin. The proposed class action suit was filed in District Court in Travis County, Texas.

The 160-unit condo tower was billed as a luxury property with “thoughtfully crafted architecture, custom kitchens with professional grade appliances, and exceptional finishes throughout the home.” Instead, the complaint alleges, the units — which range in price from $400,000 to $5 million — feature “angled floors, bowed-in walls, poorly cut baseboards, ill-fitting cabinets, uneven and splotchy paint, and/or additional substantial and material defects.” Plumbing fixtures in the units also allegedly quickly eroded.

Sackman Enterprises president Carter Sackman tapped his son, C.J., to manage the project despite his son’s inexperience in developing luxury real estate, according to the suit. When C.J. realized he was “in way over his head,” he made false promises to sell units and “cut corners and costs by deviating” from the architect’s design plans, according to the lawsuit.

Representatives for the family-run Sackman Enterprises didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment, and C.J. Sackman could not be reached for comment.

“They have worked to entice the unknowing public to purchase expensive defective condos when they knew the condos have significant material defects that will not be repaired, despite their representations to the contrary,” the lawsuit claims.

Patel alleges that despite flagging several defects in his unit during an initial walk-through in June 2019, the developer has failed to make repairs. An attorney for Patel, Constantine Pamphilis, said Sackman has proposed “cheap cosmetic fixes” to the defects. He said Patel and his family are in limbo because they haven’t been able to fully move in while waiting for repairs.

Patel’s father, who has a medical condition that causes him to walk with uneven footing, has fallen on numerous occasions due to the unit’s angled floors, according to the suit.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $2 million in relief and seeks to certify a class of at least 160 condo owners.

Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected].


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