Uber-wealthy Manhattanites who paid as much as $88million to live in a 1,400ft tall residential skyscraper are now complaining that the building suffers from leaks, flooding, creaking walls, faulty elevators, and rising common charges caused by repairs.
The 96-floor building at 432 Park Avenue, whose construction was completed in 2015, was the second tallest skyscraper in New York City behind One World Trade Center.
Located on Billionaires Row, known for its cluster of residential skyscrapers overlooking Central Park, the tower attracted buyers like Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, among others.
It has taken cutting-edge technology and engineering breakthroughs to allow the construction of 1000-ft tall super-skyscrapers which are now beginning to shoot up in Manhattan.
But one of the key selling points of the new building – its height – also appears to be causing problems.
Strong wind gusts at higher altitude are causing the structure to sway, affecting elevators and cables, while the free flow of air into garbage chutes, doorways, and hallways creates an orchestra of loud, spooky noises that reportedly dampen quality of life.
The sway of the building is also wreaking havoc on piping and plumbing as residents continue to complain of leaks and floods, The New York Times reports.
One potential buyer, billionaire tequila mogul Juan Beckmann Vidal, was in contract for a $46.25million apartment on the 86th floor in 2016 when a ‘catastrophic water flood’ caused major damage to units on the 83rd, 84th, 85th, and 86th floors.
Residents of 432 Park Avenue in New York City, once the tallest residential skyscraper in the world, have complained of faulty maintenance issues that have caused leaks, flooding, and noise
Eduard Slinin, a resident who was elected to the condo board last year, told his neighbors that insurance costs rose by some 300 per cent in two years. Slinin wrote a letter to neighbors citing two ‘water related incidents’ from 2018 that cost the building $9.7million to fix. Slinin is seen right with his wife, Gala Slinin, in New York City in this undated file photo
In 2016, Juan Beckmann Vidal (left), the billionaire chairman of the company behind Jose Cuervo tequila, was in contract for a $46.25million on the 86th floor in 2016 when a ‘catastrophic water flood’ caused major damage to units on the 83rd, 84th, 85th, and 86th floors. When Vidal tried to back out of the deal, he demanded his $11.56million deposit back. Harry Macklowe (right), the real estate developer who helped build 432 Park Avenue, refused, prompting Vidal to file suit. The lawsuit was settled quietly a year later
When Vidal, who owns the Jose Cuervo tequila brand, tried to back out of the deal, he demanded his $11.56million deposit back.
Harry Macklowe, the real estate developer who helped build 432 Park Avenue, refused, prompting Vidal to file suit, according to Curbed.
The lawsuit was settled quietly a year later.
One of the building’s developers, CIM Group, told The New York Times that the structure ‘is a successfully designed, constructed and virtually sold-out project’ and that the firm is ‘working collaboratively’ with the condo board.
‘Like all new construction, there were maintenance and close-out items during that period,’ the board said.
DailyMail.com has reached out to CIM Group for comment. The property manager at 432 Park Avenue, FirstService Residential, declined to comment when reached by DailyMail.com.
A-Rod and JLo bought a 4,000 square foot unit in 2018 for $15.3million – only to sell about a year later for $17.5million.
Among the famous celebrities who bought properties at 432 Park Avenue are Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez (seen above in New York in 2018). The two bought a 4,000 square foot unit in 2018 for $15.3million – only to sell it the next year for $17.5million
They decided to sell the property because they reportedly wanted something bigger for their four children. According to Page Six, the couple did not have any complaints about the building.
In 2016, the penthouse on the 96th floor was bought by Saudi billionaire Fawaz Alhokair for almost $88million.
Of the 125 condominium units in the building, just two are now available for sale, according to the official web site for the property.
Despite the glamorous image, however, residents and developers behind the skyscraper that cost $1.5billion to build are blaming each other for shoddy maintenance issues that are not uncommon in more run-down, older apartments, according to the Times.
One tenant, Sarina Abramovich, told the Times that she and her husband, Mikhail, paid almost $17million for a 3,500sq ft apartment on one of the high floors in the building in 2016.
When she arrived at her new residence on the first day, she was shocked to see that both her new apartment and other parts of the building were still under construction.
According to Page Six, A-Rod and JLo decided to unload the property because ‘they need something bigger for the family’
The image above shows a room inside JLo’s and ARod’s three bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom condo that they eventually sold in 2019
The image above shows a bathroom at the 86B residence in 432 Park Avenue in New York City in January 2017
‘They put me in a freight elevator surrounded by steel plates and plywood, with a hard-hat operator,’ she said.
‘That’s how I went up to my hoity-toity apartment before closing.’
Things just kept getting worse from there, according to Abramovich.
The building has suffered from several leaks and floods, two of which were reported in November 2018, according to the Times.
On November 22, 2018, a flange, which is a ribbed collar that connects piping, burst around a high-pressure water feed on the 60th floor, causing a flood.
Abramovich said that water seeped into her apartment several floors below the leak, causing some $500,000 in damage.
Just four days later, the building general manager reported a ‘water line failure’ in which water leaked into the elevator shafts.
The damage forced two of the four residential elevators to be out of service for weeks.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the other developer, Macklowe Properties, for comment.
Other residents have also said that their properties suffered severe, costly damage as a result of maintenance issues.
According to engineers, the problems affecting 432 Park Avenue have become commonplace at other residential skyscrapers where severe wind gusts at higher altitudes cause the buildings to sway.
In October 2019, management at 432 Park told tenants that one of their fellow residents was ‘entrapped’ for nearly 90 minutes after ‘high-wind condition’ forced the elevator to get stuck.
One engineer told the Times that wind-induced sway leads to cables in the elevator shaft shifting around, which can cause slowdowns or shutdowns.
The engineer said that other supertall buildings have reported similar problems.
The strong wind gusts also cause spooky noises as air flows between doorway and elevator shafts and metal partitions between the walls sway from side to side, residents report.
The condo on the 36th floor boasts oak floors, 12.6-foot ceilings, large windows, and views of Central Park
There is even a large gym for the famously in-shape couple. The complex includes free weights, treadmills, benches, and other exercise equipment
During an owners’ meeting that took place in 2019, residents reported that garbage tossed about in a trash shut ‘sounds like a bomb’ and that they could frequently hear creaking and banging noises from their apartments.
Residents say that the maintenance issues were compounded by the increasing common charges, which rose some 40 per cent in 2019 due to what management said was rising insurance premiums and repairs.
Eduard Slinin, a resident who was elected to the condo board last year, told his neighbors that insurance costs rose by some 300 per cent in two years.
Slinin wrote a letter to neighbors citing two ‘water related incidents’ from 2018 that cost the building $9.7million to fix.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Slinin for comment.
Residents were also unhappy that they were forced to pay more money to use the in-house private restaurant run by star chef Shaun Hergatt.
When the building opened, residents had to spend $1,200 per year for the privilege of eating there – though all meals had to be paid for separately with the exception of breakfast, which was free.
This year, however, residents must pay $15,000, even though the restaurant has cut back its operating hours due to the pandemic.
To make matters worse, breakfast is no longer free.
Abramovich told the Times that she has refused to cover the recent increase in common charges. As a result, she has incurred $82,000 in late fees and interest.
She said her decision to speak out was motivated by principle and that she wasn’t concerned that the value of her property might suffer as a result.
‘Everything here was camouflage,’ she said.
‘If I knew then what I know now, I would have never bought.’
The building is seen above during its construction phase in December 2013. At the time its construction was completed, it was the tallest residential skyscraper in the world
A view of New York city to east from the 75th floor of 432 Park Avenue is seen above on October 15, 2014
The image above shows a view to the north and Central Park from the 75th floor at 432 Park Avenue in October 2014
Some residents have started to point fingers at each other as others have threatened to sue the developers.
One group of residents commissioned an engineering firm, SBI Consultants, to study mechanical and structural flaws.
According to the Times, SBI’s initial findings showed that 73 per cent of the building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components did not conform with the developers’ drawings.
Nearly a quarter of the issues observed even ‘presented actual life safety issues,’ according to Slinin.
Though SBI declined to comment to the Times, Slinin later downplayed the initial findings, telling the Times that the mechanical issues ‘were minor things.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to SBI for comment.
Abramovich added: ‘I was convinced it would be the best building in New York.
‘They’re still billing it as God’s gift to the world, and it’s not.’