Retail tycoon Alfred K.T. Chan paid $7.3 million for the townhouse at 116 East 78th Street in 2010. Despite the house's considerable charms it needed a lot of work, and in order to get that work done Chan has decided that he needs to access the two adjoining townhouses, wrap them scaffolding, install rooftop netting, and set up a construction fence in their backyards. The people who live in those houses are not as enthusiastic about the idea as he is, so Chan petitioned the courts. This has been going on since 2011.
The planned renovation includes a full-height rear addition, terraces, balconies, an in-ground pool, a penthouse addition, a chimney extension, and a roof terrace. Chan offered one of his neighbors $7,500 for his troubles, but the neighbor is not biting, complaining that the digging of the pool is threatening his house's foundation. The other neighbor is worried about being able to access his own backyard for Succot and about the security of his expensive art collection, and, of course, everyone is worried about the noise (except for Chan, who living abroad while all this is going on). Hopefully, when all this is over Chan will at least let his neighbors use the pool, but somehow we doubt it.
· Upper East Side residents battle retail tycoon over townhouse renovations [NYDN]
· Ports1961 Principals Drop $7.3 M. Anchor on East 78th [NYO]