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Free Basement Space Might Be Worth What Co-op Paid For It

The co-op board of Chelsea Gardens thought its dreams had come true back in 2002 when it discovered 5,000 square feet of unfinished basement space. They eschewed potentially exotic/awesome uses of those square feet (how much trouble would a nightclub have been, really?) in favor of the simpler option: creating more apartments. Specifically, a 1,500-square-foot place for the super, an addition to one first-floor resident's unit, and up to four more new one- and two-bedroom units. Residents were told the construction work would be no bother. Cue bothering!

The Real Deal reports a number of angry residents have filed lawsuits claiming dust, dirt, and cigarette smoke from the basement construction hurt both their apartments and their health. And one lawsuit claims a resident's dog "tested positive for lead" after the project started. But a stop-work order on the building was lifted this week, and the board still expects a profit on the apartments. Sorry, pooch.
· Chelsea co-op basement project causes unexpected headaches [Real Deal]
· Chelsea Co-op Gets Rare Rooftop Basement Addition [Curbed]