Back when sales launched at 48 Box Street in 2013, Curbed commenters lambasted the six-unit Greenpoint development for its (then) out-there location. Of course, the $600,000 to $1 million apartments sold out almost immediately anyway. But it now seems like the early skeptics of the building may have been onto something.
According to a report from The Post, residents of the (theoretically) high-end condos say “the developer is refusing to fix their drafty, leaking units—forcing them to wear hats and coats indoors while battling black mold.” And they’re not going to take it sitting down and shivering: the building’s residents have filed a lawsuit against the developers—HM Ventures Group LLC and ASH NYC—as well as the project’s architect, Jung Wor Chin, for breach of contract, fraud, and professional malpractice.
“It’s hard to feel comfortable in your own home after three years when, in the wintertime, you have to wear a winter coat and scarf and go to bed in fleeces and layer up the blankets because the building is just leaking air and the cold air is seeping in,” one resident told the Post. Another owner in the building, who lives there with her three children, told the paper her place “dips to as low as 30 degrees on the coldest days.”
Meanwhile, residents say the building was never properly waterproofed, causing leaks and mold, which has now spread throughout the building. The issues really undercut the glamor of those granite countertops in the kitchen.
The developers, however, remain unconvinced. “If those conditions exist, which we do not believe they do, we’re not the cause of those conditions,” said Ryan Miller, a lawyer for HM Ventures and ASH.
ASH purchased the building from the bank after the former developer had fallen behind on payments. The building was “95 percent complete” when ASH came in, a broker for the project told Curbed in 2013. At the time, Ari Heckman of ASH told Curbed that he “kind of undid” all that the former owner had done, replacing interior finishes and reworking the facade to better tie in with the neighborhood. No mention was made of the building’s critical facilities.