Luxury developers are courting Russian buyers to take those eight-figure penthouses off their hands, but if we learned one thing from Rocky IV it's that the Russkies know how to throw an occasional punch if you push them around enough. And so, an anonymous (for a brief moment, anyway) buyer has backed out of a deal to buy two Plaza penthouses for $53.5 million, and is instead suing to get his $10.7 million deposit back as well as at least $20 million in damages. According to a copy of the lawsuit and reported by The Real Estate, the triplex spread was bought sight unseen. In fact, the suit claims developer Elad Properties and the building's brokers at Stribling refused to permit access to the units. And then, this happened:
"After the Agreements were executed, the Sponsor made unilateral and impermissible design changes to the Penthouses diminishing the livable square footage, cutting down sight lines, minimizing windows and lowering ceilings, and failed to disclose such changes to Plaintiffs." (The middle of the 55-page suit says the buyer was particularly defrauded by the absence of "unobstructed floor to ceiling windows," "lower than represented ceiling heights," and, of course, "unappealing drainage grates which further impeded Plaintiffs' views.) Oof, you do hate to see that.
El-Ad responded to the lawsuit by issuing a terse statement that?while preserving the anonymity of the buyer?did include his surname in the attachment's title. Oops! He is Andrei Vavilov, "a hedge fund maverick who became a deputy finance minister under Yeltsin in 1992, survived an assassination attempt in a Kremlin parking lot in 1996, made a fortune in Russian oil in 2002, and earned his first Times profile last year." Andrei, we've got another place for you if this whole Plaza thing doesn't work out.
· Meet Andrei Vavilov! Litigious Plaza Penthouse Buyer (Inadvertently) Revealed [TRE]
· Trouble in Plaza Paradise! Mystery Buyer Sues Over $53.5 M. Deal [TRE]