The owners of 72 condominium units situated in four attached condominium buildings located in an up and coming section of Brooklyn came to us in late February, 2007, after having been represented by two prior law firms. They had entered into a settlement agreement that eliminated any right to commence suit against the Sponsor of the four buildings. Investigation of this matter revealed that the buildings needed over 9 million dollars in remediation to the building exterior, interior and mechanicals. The Sponsor, represented by counsel, put up every road block imaginable to delay the remediation of the buildings. The scope and amount of the remediation and the process of the investigation was quite extensive.
In order to apply maximum pressure against Sponsor, we involved the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Buildings, and the Courts in our offense. After much effort by the Litigation Department of Adam Leitman Bailey P.C. led by Adam Leitman Bailey as overall supervising attorney, we negotiated an agreement with Sponsor that would ultimately lead to either a complete buyout of the units or a multimillion dollar judgment against Sponsor – a true win-win scenario for the unit owners. When Sponsor was unable to deliver under the terms of the buyout, the unit owners received an 11 million dollar judgment against the Sponsor, and circumvented a potentially lengthy litigation.
The second hurdle the condominiums faced was that the sponsor built the buildings too tall. The sponsor lied to the Department of Buildings in order to qualify for an exception that allows sponsors to build in excess of the air rights associated with a particular parcel of land. Once the buildings were erected and sold, the Department of Buildings became aware of this and ruled that the buildings would not be able to get a Permanent Certificate of Occupancy unless they literally removed the top stories of each building. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. attended numerous meetings with the Department of Buildings and lobbied local politicians to encourage the Department of Buildings to reverse its decision.
The Department of Buildings has now determined that if the condominiums make various repairs, it will award the buildings with Permanent Certificates of Occupancy. Having received settlement funds and a construction loan, the condominiums are only a few short steps away from obtaining their Certificates of Occupancy.
Adam Leitman Bailey, and John Desiderio were the team at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. representing the boards of the four condominiums.