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Apartments That Don't Exist Still Expected to Pay Up

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It seems like there are endless ways New York City condos can end up in the middle of financial disputes, but here's one we never expected: nonexistent condos having to pay taxes and common charges even though they, uh, don't exist. The Wall Street Journal reveals that this is happening in at least three condo projects where penthouses were never built but are listed in building plans. At 11 East 36th Street's Morgan Lofts, the two phantom 2,200-square-foot penthouses each get a $30,000 property tax bill, thanks to a state law that assesses condos like rental buildings.

Then there are the bills for building common charges. Those stem from an error in the condo offering plan for the 2006 conversion, which listed two penthouses the developers did not immediately intend to build but which were factored into the division of common charges anyway. There's an easy-ish fix: a new version of the plan that simply removes those units. But the owners of the units that actually do exist don't want to pay higher charges. Fine, just keep making the ghosts pay!
The developer of our old Frederick Douglass Boulevard friend Gateway II has also been haunted by the delay in the building's construction, getting billed for common charges and taxes on its unbuilt six stories. The developer sued the law firm responsible for the offering plan but lost the trial. And last but not least, liens on two unbuilt floors at 24 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg were sold in 2004 and 2009. You do hate to see that.
· Phantom Apartments Do Not Exist But Are Charged Taxes [WSJ]
· Harlem's Gateway Building Has Finally Started Selling Units [Curbed]