Settlement Ensures Repairs Of Building Defects At Vestry Street Condominium

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a $900,000 settlement with the sponsor of a 16-unit Tribeca loft building to compensate the unit owners for repairs that have to be made to their building.

The settlement requires the sponsor of the condominium, which is located at 39 Vestry Street in Manhattan, to pay the condominium unit owners $900,000, an average of $56,250 per owner. The sponsor is 39 Vestry LLC, which is partly owned by ING, a large Netherlands-based financial institution.

"This agreement ensures that those who purchased a condominium from this sponsor will be able to live in a structurally sound building, which is safe for residents," Spitzer said. "The settlement also compensates the unit owners for the loss of tax benefits they would have received had the sponsor fulfilled its promise to apply for the benefits."

After receiving a complaint from the condominium board, the Attorney General's investigation found that there were in fact significant defects in the building which were not disclosed in the offering plan. The defects included:

  • Roof leaks;
  • leaks through the exterior walls;
  • a missing terrazzo floor in the lobby;
  • missing sound insulation between apartments;
  • unfinished hallways and stairwells; and
  • walls around the roof that are too short

The AG's investigation also found that the sponsor failed to comply with a commitment to apply for New York City tax benefits that would have lowered the taxes of the unit owners. The settlement also compensates them for their loss of these benefits.

ING cooperated with the AG''s office during the investigation, first by agreeing to jointly retain, with the condominium, a consultant to evaluate the building's defects, and then by agreeing to the settlement.

The case was handled by Oliver Rosengart of Real Estate Financing Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Geneith Turnbull.