Here’s an interesting lawsuit shaking down in Battery Park City
, an eco-enclave of sorts in Lower Manhattan: Steven Gidumal and Allison Keele, the owners of a $4.2 million condo unit in the Riverhouse
high-rise (Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyra Banks also own units in the building) are suing the building’s developers for not delivering when it comes to sustainability.
Gidumal and Keele’s lawsuit is for $1.5 million in damages and alleges fraud and breach of contract by Riverhouse’s initial developer, Sheldrake Organization, and by the 264-unit building’s current manager, Centurion Real Estate Partners.
In the complaint, Gidumal and Keele claim that the air-filtration system, heating, and other elements in their three-bedroom apartment aren’t up to stuff in a LEED Gold-seeking building that’s “marketed as being at the cutting edge of 'green' technology.”
In addition to numerous green features
, the Riverhouse websites also lists amenities
like an indoor lap-pool, a yoga studio, bicycle parking, David Rockwell
-designed interiors, and a branch of the New York Public Library on the ground floor.
If you hold yourself out to be green, then deliver the goods.
I can’t say I’ve seen a “my $4.2 million condo isn’t green enough” lawsuit before but I have a hunch this might be just the beginning as more and more developers market luxury properties as being eco-friendly and/or obtain LEED certification. Whether Keele and Gidumal are just tough customers with a bone to pick or if the defendants truly did misrepresent the property, The Wall Street Journal points out
that “the green issue could break new ground by compelling the courts to determine what it means for a building to be in line with environmental best practices.”
Stay tuned to see how this turns out ...