432 Park Avenue residents sue developers for $250M

Condo board seeking damages for flooding, noise, troublesome elevators

Macklowe Properties CEO Harry Macklowe, CIM Group Co-Founder Richard Ressler and 432 Park Avenue (Getty, CIM)
Macklowe Properties CEO Harry Macklowe, CIM Group Co-Founder Richard Ressler and 432 Park Avenue (Getty, CIM)

Residents at CIM Group and Macklowe Properties’ 432 Park Avenue are escalating previously reported complaints over a wide range of issues with the building’s design and construction in a $250 million lawsuit filed Thursday.

The condo board of the Billionaires’ Row tower is suing the developers for issues related to flooding, broken elevators, noise from the building’s sway and a June electrical explosion, according to the New York Times. The lawsuit doesn’t include potential punitive damages or individual lawsuits residents may file.

The damages claim is based on approximately 1,500 construction and design problems found by an engineering firm the board hired to inspect the building.

The complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court reportedly mentions “life safety” issues, including how residents have been trapped in elevators for hours at a time after building sway caused them to stall. Floods and leaks have also occurred due to poor plumbing installation, according to the board, damaging 35 units and common areas and causing millions of dollars in repairs.

Noise complaints include the sound and vibration that stems from building sway, according to the complaint, especially during inclement weather. One resident also said it “sounds like a bomb” when garbage is thrown into the trash chute, the Times reported in February.

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Macklowe Properties didn’t provide the outlet comment on the lawsuit. But a spokesman for the sponsor — which includes the CIM Group — said commitments at the building have been honored and accused the condo board of blocking some maintenance requests. CIM Group co-founder Richard Ressler owns a unit in the building.

432 Park Avenue was designed by Rafael Viñoly’s firm. It was built in 2015 with a projected sellout of $3.1 billion. While the building is almost sold out, resales have slowed since the first wave of complaints became public in February. Only one sale at the building has closed since January, according to The Times.

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[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner

Clarification: An earlier version of this story misstated the damages being sought by condo board, based on the New York Times Story. It is $250 million.