The Dark Truth of New York’s Billionaires Row

I got access to the legal documents regarding a New York City Supreme Court case in which the residents of 432 Park Street Condominium are suing the developers of a building for $125,000,000 in damages. Literally, in plain text from this court document, the board of residents state that what was promised as one of the finest condominiums in the city was instead delivered riddled with over 1500 identified construction and design defects to the common elements of the building. And this is aside from any problems with the individual units. 

This is just the beginning of what’s been hidden from you on Billionaires Row.

This is the most expensive listing in America at $250,000,000. We’ve already had.

A lot of reports of problems.

It doesn’t matter who lives here. It’s just a matter of the way it was done, the amount of money that’s being spent, the lack of transparency.

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Okay. Wait a second. All the TikToks and  YouTube videos about these luxury condominiums on billionaire’s row never mention anything bad about the condominiums.

Why have we never heard about these 1500 plus identified defects that are claiming to put their residents’ safety and even lives at risk, especially when these residents are paying tens of 1,000,000 of dollars and even over 100,000,000 of dollars to own one of these apartments.

Well, the short answer to this is that even the residents themselves don’t want you to know about the court case and especially don’t want you to know about the 1500 defects to the building. 

The story of billionaire’s row begins here in 2009 with the development of 157. 157 is classified as a super tall building given it stands at over 1,000 feet. Now billionaires row doesn’t mean that you have to be a billionaire to live here, but it almost does considering the prices for a studio on the low end is 4.2 million dollars.

And for a penthouse, that’ll likely cost over $100,000,000.

New York City is known for their extremely small living spaces with beds folding out the wall. 

But 157? Well, you’re gonna have more room than you could ever need. With your own indoor fitness room, libraries, massive living spaces, and stunning views overlooking Central Park, you’re buying into a life of extreme luxury and exclusivity that only the ultra wealthy can afford. 

With the asking price of one of these apartments coming out to average $22,000,000, this becomes unaffordable to even many of the city’s richest residents. 

So what happens to these apartments if nobody can afford them? That’s when the foreign investors, hedge fund managers, and corporate execs come into play.

Now the big question is whether there’s enough supply at the right price for all these foreign buyers. They like new development, and they like large spaces. But in New York Here, the big penthouses and the big spaces are already seeing bidding wars.

159 became a massive investment opportunity for the richest in the world who have zero intentions of actually living in New York. 

Not only are the billionaires buying these apartment complexes spanking on the value of them to go up, but the residents are actually paying less in property taxes than the average New York City homeowner.

Okay. Wait a second. You’re telling me that the owner of a $100,000,000 apartment complex in Billionaires Row is paying the same in property taxes as the owner of, let’s say, a $1,000,000 apartment in New York. How could this possibly be the case? 

Well, let’s take this graph for example. Out of the 8 major billionaires row apartment complexes. The blue represents how much each property would be taxed if they were to follow the average property tax in New York City, and the green represents how much they are actually paying.

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Hard to believe? Well, New York City property taxes are based on 4 different categories.

Their small residential, large residential, commercial, and industrial properties. 

Billionaires Row apartment complexes, like 159, for example, fall under large residential as they are typically owned by a single family or individual. The taxes you pay on the property you own are dependent on what category your property lies in rather than how much the individual property is actually worth. 

This means an apartment complex on billionaire’s row, ends up paying the same property taxes as a large apartment building in Staten Island just because they are in the same property tax category. Look no further than the former mayor of New York himself who owns 2 homes in Brooklyn worth more than $3,000,000 despite only paying $7,000 last year in property taxes.

Values of homes have gone up. That has been what is causing so much of the impact. Indeed values have gone up on mayor de Blasio’s properties. 

Do you support a millionaire’s tax?

I support you. Millionaire Bill paying my property tax.

Given that the owner of a one $100,000,000 penthouse and 159 is paying the same property taxes as a homeowner in Staten Island, it’s pretty clear why so many of the ultra rich see this as a phenomenal investment opportunity. 

159 was finally completed in 2014 as billionaires row first major condominium, and things were going great, well, for about a year. 

In 2015, a brand new building on Billionaires Row was completed. Four 32 Park Avenue, becoming Billionaires Row, a most iconic building at the time.

As we are, so to speak, standing in the shadow of 432 Park Avenue, Not only is it the tallest residential tower in the city, it’s also the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

Despite the building actually being inspired by the design of a trash can, everything seen is great on the outside for 432 Park Avenue. 

The top penthouse was just listed for a record breaking $169,000,000, which is the most expensive listing New York has ever seen.

432 Park Avenue has apartments that literally look down on the Empire State Building, feature the highest spa tubs in New York and possess practically everything you could ever want in a luxury apartment penthouse, except there’s just one thing. 

The glory and glamor of 432 Park that we see on social media isn’t exactly true of the actual situation. 

In literal plain text, the board of managers of 432 Park Avenue condominiums. This is a group of residents that are formed on behalf of the individual unit owners who are suing the developers of 432 Park Avenue for no less than $250,000,000. 

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These guys are billionaires with seemingly unlimited money. What could they possibly be so angry about? So if we go back to the beginning of this video, as mentioned before, the apartment board is claiming that there are 1500 plus defects to 432 Park, which don’t even include the problems to many of the individual units. 

First, many of the problems revolved around the fact that there are horrible and obtrusive noise and vibrations as a result of the design of the building. 

432 Park is extremely tall and narrow with a height to width ratio of 15 to 1. Because it gets extremely windy towards the top levels of over 1,000 feet up, every 12 stories, there’s a gap in the structure to allow the wind to flow through the building, limiting the wind resistance at high altitudes. 

With all the wind passing through. This has created apparently intolerable noises rendering it difficult to sleep during periods of even moderately inclement weather. Now this would be one thing if you were a New Yorker living in a rundown apartment complex 50 stories up, but these are billionaires paying tens of billions of dollars to live in, supposedly one of the nicest apartments in the world.

Okay. Okay. There’s some loud noises when it’s windy out. So what?

Well, the developers of the building also did an account for how the building would sway because of its extreme height and how this would impact the elevators. Residents claim that these elevators have heatedly shut down entirely during periods of high wind where family members have been trapped in the elevators that have shut down for hours before finally getting rescued.

You imagine Leonardo DiCaprio buying one of these units and being trapped in an elevator for a couple hours? I mean, that guy is just way too rich to find himself trapped in an elevator. 

And the list just keeps going on. There has also been multiple incidents of severe flooding and widespread water damage.

And to make matters even worse, when a construction worker was attempting to fix the water infiltration issues, he accidentally drilled into the electrical wiring, causing an explosion, which shut down many of the unit’s electricity and cost $1,500,000 to repair.

The builders supposedly then refused to accept responsibility and immediately address the damage caused by the explosion leaving dangerous conditions, which was caused by the sponsor’s negligence. 

There’s pages and pages of documents where the residents of 432 Park Avenue are exposing  the sponsors, which are technically the builders, for withholding important information, never accepting responsibility, ignoring residents’ requests, and the list just keeps going on. 

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The residents even hired an engineering consultant to go throughout the building and identify all the defects. And out of the 1500 defects the consultant found, the builders claimed to have fixed 100 of them.

When in reality, the consultant found that they had only fixed nine of the 1500 defects. I won’t go through every detail of this 43 page court document, but the point is there’s hundreds and even over a 1000 different defects found by an engineering consultant on 432 Park Avenue, and the builders are refusing to accept any responsibility resulting in a lawsuit where the residents are seeking over $250,000,000 in reprimands. And what’s maybe even crazier is that this is all being hidden from the public.

Remember how I mentioned how these apartment complexes on billionaires were being purchased as investments? 

Well, the buyers don’t want you to know about what a mess some of these condominiums are because of the public years. This will drop the value of their properties. 

As for now, it’s just been all wonderful things about how luxurious these condominiums are and what spectacular views of Manhattan they have, never mentioning any of the 1500 defects as seen in the legal document.

But if you think this was just the case for 432 Park Avenue, you’d be sadly mistaken, or maybe happily mistaken given how you feel about billionaire’s row. 

Central Park Tower is said to block significant light from Central Park because of the massive shadow it casts for a significant portion of the day. 

Not to mention, this tower only has 30 full time residents despite having 179 units. 53 West 53rd street, is over half empty because potential buyers are concerned with the design of the building that doesn’t allow for much light to enter in a building where that is literally one of the main features that you are paying for. 

111 West 57th Street has been in the news multiple times for having large objects falling off the building crashing onto New York City streets stirring its construction stages, including large pieces of glass.

Not to mention, this is the thinnest skyscraper in the world with a width the height ratio of 1 to 24, making swaying at the top floors inevitable. 

Many of these issues can also be attributed to the 3 other Billionaires Row apartments that we haven’t even mentioned yet. 520 Park Avenue, 220 Central Park South, and 252 East 57th Street. 

At a time where rent prices in New York City are skyrocketing. Builders decided to choose the ultra wealthy condominium options, spotter now ironically getting sued for a 100 of 1,000,000 of dollars by the same billionaires that they were attempting to build investment properties for. 

Many of the dark secrets of Billionaires’ Row are applicable to other cities around the world and especially to the overcrowded ones like Dhaka and Bangladesh. It is remarkable how much corruption occurs in the world’s most overcrowded city, and you can learn more about the dark secrets of this place in this video right here.


Source: Uncovering