Luxury lost: defect complaints rise in new residences

Leaks, broken elevators plague some pandemic-era buildings

New York /
Apr.April 15, 2022 10:37 AM

From left: Silverback Development managing principal Josh Schuster and Arch Companies managing partner Jeffrey Simpson (Google Maps, Arch Companies, Silverback Development, iStock)

More residents have complained their experiences in new luxury buildings are anything but, with some alleging poor construction spurred problems with leaks, unfinished designs and mechanical failures.

Complaints are on the rise for new construction residences in the city, the New York Times reported. The claims come after a host of supply chain issues that hampered pandemic-era construction, as well as the stop-and-start nature of finishing work under lockdown orders and without widespread vaccinations.

In the year after March 1, 2020 — shortly before the pandemic upended the country — new residential buildings had an average of five complaints per building, according to a Marketproof analysis of Department of Buildings data reported by the Times. The figure is a 46 percent jump from the previous year.

Arch Companies’ seven-story building at 11 Greene Street in Soho is one property that has seen issues since its opening last summer, particularly resident complaints of persistent water damage. The developer is suing several tenants after nearly half withheld rent, some because of alleged construction deficits.

Josh Schuster’s Silverback Development, meanwhile, is under the gun at Hero, a Long Island City condo building at 24-16 Queens Plaza South. The building opened in spring 2020, offering studios starting around $600,000. But the building is dealing with flooding, elevator problems and unfinished amenities.

Schuster pointed to supply and labor issues in the wake of the pandemic and told the Times the company was working every day on resolving the problems while contending with ongoing delays.

Problems at luxury residences aren’t reserved for pandemic-era buildings.

Elevator issues have plunged 20 Exchange Place into disarray, leaving residents living above the 15th floor with long hikes to their units. Residents at CIM Group and Macklowe Properties’ 432 Park Avenue are suing the developers for issues related to flooding, broken elevators, noise from the building’s sway and a June electrical explosion.

Luxury buildings are also the site of ongoing labor disputes. Earlier this week, doormen authorized a strike, which would begin on April 20 if their union can’t come to an agreement with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations.

[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner





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