Condo board sues Glenwood, calling luxury Manhattan project “hazardous”

Developer known for rentals entered condo market with 60 East 86th Street

Glenwood Management's Howard Swarzman and 60 East 86th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Glenwood Management's Howard Swarzman and 60 East 86th Street (Getty, Google Maps)

Unit owners at Glenwood Management’s first condo project might wish the developer had stuck to rentals.

Five years after the developer entered the condo market with a project at 60 East 86th Street, the board claims the 19-story offering on Upper East Side with 14 units is coming undone — and it wants Glenwood to pony up $21 million for damages.

The condo board called construction of the building “decificient” and “hazardous” in a lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan. Its long list of supposed ailments includes water leaks, balcony rust, odors that waft from fireplaces and kitchens, a faux limestone facade that is spalling and unsafe, and failing sprinkler heads.

The condo board is suing the sponsor entity, a limited liability company controlled by Glenwood, and a number of its executives — including some who are dead.

The estate of Leonard Litwin, the company’s founder and a political kingmaker who died in 2017, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The estate of Charles C. Dorego, who was Litwin’s political power broker, was also sued.

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Dorego was reportedly instrumental in lobbying lawmakers to renew the 421a tax abatement in 2011. Glenwood, known for its luxury rentals, was also fingered for engineering pro-landlord changes to rent stabilization back in the days when Republicans controlled the state Senate. But it has stayed out of the spotlight since.

Other Glenwood leaders named in the lawsuit are Steven and Howard Swarzman — Litwin’s grandsons, who pushed the condo project forward at the company — plus Gary Jacob and Steven Lerner.

The board alleges that in the condo’s offering plan, the sponsor falsified warranties for the building’s roof and facade, the stone for which was bought at a bankruptcy auction and therefore has no warranty.

Glenwood, which did immediately return a request for comment, paid $31 million in 2013 to assemble the land for the condo. Its estimated sellout price was $158 million — more than $11 million per apartment, on average.