Extell found liable for noisy courtyard at the Rushmore, handing win to condo owner

Ruling follows a $15 million refund for other residents of the Upper West Side tower

Extell's Gary Barnett and the Rushmore
Extell's Gary Barnett and the Rushmore

It’s been a rough few months for Extell Development. The success of sales at its luxury tower One57 was clouded by the snap of a wily crane during Hurricane Sandy, and the developer lost an ongoing legal battle with residents at the Rushmore condominium. Now, in a separate Rushmore case, another buyer at the Upper West Side building has scored a victory against the developer.

A New York State Supreme Court judge ruled on Dec. 5 that Extell is liable in a case involving alleged misrepresentations over one resident’s view of a quiet courtyard, The Real Deal has learned.

Jennifer Obolewicz, an executive assistant at a New York-based music label and a Rushmore owner, filed suit in 2010, claiming that the sponsor installed generator exhaust pipes and vent fans without warning in a private courtyard outside her unit after she purchased the property in 2009.

She claimed Extell and their sales agent, Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, had described the courtyard as quiet, with an unobstructed view. But, according to Obolewicz, the structures “emitted noise and odors that disturbed her peace and prevented her from opening her windows.”

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Judge Anil Singh ruled in Obolewicz’s favor on a claim of “private nuisance,” but dismissed her allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract, as well as her claims against Corcoran Sunshine, her attorney, Gail Bernheim, told The Real Deal.

The judge ordered that damages to Obolewicz, including any compensation for lost property values, would be determined by a referee at a later date. Obolewicz and her attorney declined to comment specifically on the damages they are seeking, but the condo owner said the case was not about money.

“I rented for almost 12 years, saving money,” she told The Real Deal. “This was my dream place. I just want what I paid for.”

An attorney for Extell, Thomas Kissane of the law firm Schlam Stone & Dolan, declined to comment on the case.

In another decision reported by The Real Deal earlier today, Extell paid a $15 million refund to 40 buyers at the Rushmore, who claimed the developer failed to close the first apartment sale in the luxury tower by a September 2008 deadline.