Cuomo set to rule on validity of Apthorp condo contracts

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce within days whether his office will approve the controversial condominium conversion of the landmark Apthorp on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Cuomo’s office has investigated the property since September 2009, when investor Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and the Feil Organization submitted a list of 36 contracted buyers who critics allege are largely inside business associates or relatives of the developers.

Legal sources told The Real Deal that Cuomo’s office has previously conducted extensive reviews of these buyers, including sworn interviews, to determine whether these buyers were procured through a transparent process or signed sham contracts to help pump up sales figures for the developer.

In September 2009, lawyers for the developers said that 36 buyers had
signed contracts, well beyond the 25 required for the plan to be
declared effective in the 163-unit building at 2211 Broadway.

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The officials visited the Apthorp last week after tenants filed complaints with several city agencies alleging construction problems, fire safety hazards and potential airborne contaminants at the property.

Attorney Stuart Saft, who represents the Apthorp developers, told The Real Deal that Cuomo’s office had staff attorneys and engineers on site at the property last week, but denied media reports that Cuomo met with anyone at the property.

Cuomo’s office did not return a call for comment.

Saft declined to comment on the status of the conversion, saying his clients wanted to wait for an official decision.

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