Do yourself a favor and head on over to the website for the Apthorp. Take a moment to let the introductory film sink in: the soundtrack, the slow pan down one of the limestone jewel's vaulted entries, the soothing narration that's practically the aural equivalent of a mother's warm embrace?it's a greeting befitting an Upper West Side landmark. Unfortunately, if the Apthorp's story were to be filmed today, it would be somewhere between Benny Hill slapstick and the scene in The Day After Tomorrow when the tsunami hits. The Times parachutes into Apthorpmania today, and while there is not much new news to report, the piece provides a good summary of this saga of real estate hubris gone wrong. Check out some zingers hurled by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev at Apthorp managing partner (for now!) Maurice Mann:
In court papers, Mr. Leviev said Mr. Mann had removed so many residents from the project that it could have created concerns with the state attorney general’s office for a practice called “warehousing.” Mr. Leviev also said Mr. Mann was placing his employees in Apthorp apartments, including some of the penthouses. “Mann is hell-bent on this path of destruction, and his reckless conduct is destined to result in the lenders refusing to work with the parties in this challenging market, the ultimate foreclosure of the loans, the failure of the condominium conversion,” those court records say.
The Apthorp may be drowning in a sea of legal scuffles, mismanagement, ornery lenders, market woes and an inability to decide on proper rabbinical intervention, but this Odd Couple revival is better than anything you'll see this season on Broadway.
· Dispute Stalls an Ambitious Upper West Side Conversion [NYT]
· Apthorp coverage [Curbed]