NYC Apartment Owner Suing Co-Op Board After 16 Years Of Waiting To Move In

Anticipation can be a heady thing, a mix of optimism and suspense, with the knowledge that eventually, you’ll get what you’re after. But one New York City co-op owner is likely past the stage of simple expectation, after waiting 16 years to move into an apartment that cost him millions.

Back in 1999, the man bought a street-level duplex in one of Manhattan’s most famously expensive buildings, paying about $2.23 million. He said in his lawsuit that at that time, he was given permission to renovate the bottom half of the unit into four bedrooms for his kids, and add air conditioning, reports Bloomberg News. And yet he’s never slept the night there, he says.

According to his complaint, after the sale was complete, the board told him he’d have to pay $1.8 million more to buy additional shares in the condominium, significantly upping his monthly maintenance charges. In this case, co-op owners buy shares in the building’s corporation instead of receiving a deed. Depending on how many shares you own, residents then pay a maintenance fee that goes toward the entire building’s mortgage and upkeep costs.

When he refused, he says the board then denied his renovation plans — nixing the air conditioning as well, which would make the lower level unlivable — and voted to reclassify part of the unit as uninhabitable storage space for the building.

He’s seeking $55 million in damages in the lawsuit, as well as a court order allowing him to finally make the renovations.

“These bad-faith acts foreclosed the possibility of [the apartment owner] constructing bedrooms there and thus ensured that the apartment could not be used by [the plaintiff] and his family,” according to the June 29 complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court.

Apartments in the building listed for sale now average around $10.48 million.

NYC Co-Op Owner Sues After Waiting 16 Years to Move In [Bloomberg News]

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