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The Gripe File: One Main, Sheffield 57, Ariel, Onyx

In the past few days we've seen a sharp uptick in the number of reader rants about some condo buildings. We've bundled them together and present them here as ... the gripe file!

1) Dumbo: "This AM I was taking my usual walk across the Manhattan Bridge when I spotted this non-historical addition to the roof of One Main Street (above). I suppose it's a giant A/C unit and I suppose they'll paint it copper, eventually. No respect any more for classic architecture."
2) Midtown West: "The latest at Swig's Shitfield (oops, Sheffield) 57. There has been a lot of core drilling through the floors and ceilings of apartments, regardless of whether or not they are occupied, often without the permission of the occupants. Earlier this week, a tenant was in her bathroom when a large concrete core, about six inches in diameter and a foot high of solid concrete, fell directly into her tub. The cause was said to be a 'construction error.' There seem to be a lot of' 'construction errors' at Sheffield57 lately. Have we mentioned that the lovely (?) new lobby floods every time it rains?"
3) Upper West Side: In relation to the "shoddy condo" article from today - I thought you guys might like to shine a little light on the Ariel condos on the UWS. A family I know went into contract on a 4-bed unit early in construction. A few months ago, they found out that the original design of the building was faulty, and they had to put supporting columns in several of the rooms in my friend's apartment - rendering the two smallest bedrooms completely useless. They literally put columns right in the middle of them."

"To make up for their mistake, the developer offered them another 4-bed unit several floors higher, which didn't have the terrace of their original apartment. They grudgingly accepted. Then, last week they got another call from the developer. It turns out the person at the developer who offered them the higher apartment wasn't qualified to make that offer - and they would allow my friend to buy the second apartment, for the higher original price.

Needless to say the family is completely screwed. 4-bedroom apartments in Manhattan aren't easy to come by. Oh yeah, and how delayed is the Ariel by this point? Wasn't it supposed to be finished awhile ago?"

4) Chelsea: [Ed. note?this is a response to this] "I am a builder in NYC.

I was offered the Onyx project in Miami five months ago: land, design, permit, sale office. The works. They wanted out and the price was cheap, I smelled blood in the water and began keeping an eye on the Onyx here in Chelsea.

To a practiced eye the project at 28th and 8th is completely out of money, the exterior stone, or curtain wall should have been put in place before the drywall work inside was done. Its obvious to me that what they are doing now is going for a TCO (temporary certificate of occupancy) so they can close on units and get enough cash to complete it, or run.

The TCO is a life safety code and there is nothing "unsafe" about missing exterior curtain wall when there is a CMU (concrete masonry unit) back up. Of course it is butt ugly and I feel sorry for the people who bought the units sight unseen.

Also when I went through the Condo plan, which I did out of curiosity, I concluded that the "tax schedule" was a complete lie. Some of the apartments had taxes of $120. per month, rather than the $800. of a normally sized condo in this area. Remember that the tax schedule is not what you will pay, rather the SELLERS approximation of what you will pay, in my opinion in this case it was a lie. I believe that they claimed to buy 421A certificates to get lower taxes, and undoubtedly they never did that as well."