New lawsuit between tenants rattles swanky 740 Park Ave.
By Steve Cuozzo
June 13, 2016
Look out below!
A wealthy couple at 740 Park Avenue say their even richer upstairs neighbor’s endless renovation project has made their lives a living hell — damaging ceilings and moldings, wrecking “irreplaceable artwork” and making it impossible for them to sleep.
In the latest billionaires’ battle at 740 Park Ave., semiconductor mogul Hamburg Tang, 85, and his wife Miranda, 80, are suing Oaktree Capital king Howard Marks, 70, as well as the co-op board.
It’s the latest crisis at the swank Park Ave building co-op, the scandalized abode of major moguls that’s recently been cursed by robberies, fire, crumbling limestone and legal beefs between unimaginably rich residents.
The address is home to financial titans such as David and Julia Koch, Stephen Schwarzman, John Thain, J. Ezra Merkin and Donald Trump fundraiser Steven Mnuchin.
While the Tangs have lived there since 1995, Marks — who bought a lavish duplex on top of them in 2012 — has yet to move in, according the the suit filed by the Tangs’ lawyer, Adam Leitman Bailey.
Marks bought duplex apartments 12 and 13 C and D in May 2012 from Time Warner widow Courtney Sale Ross for $52.5 million, which was a record co-op purchase price at the time.
But rather than move into the 30-room palace — which boasts a half-dozen wood-burning fireplaces, elliptical staircases and landscaped terraces — Marks embarked on a four year-and-counting “gigantic renovation and demolition,” the suit says.
Despite building rules that allow renovations only between May and September, and during daylight hours, Marks’ job has gone on year-round and at night, according to the suit. In July 2014, the work caused the Tangs’ bedroom ceiling to collapse and flood it with water, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damage, according to the suit.
Miranda Tang has suffered “significant disturbances,” sleep deprivation and “a sense of helplessness,” claims the suit — in which Bailey accuses the 740 Park Ave. board of wanting to “kowtow to its largest (by far) shareholder,” Marks.
The board allegedly granted Marks five separate extensions of a deadline requiring the work to be completed “within two summers.” The Tangs, who pay $16,500 monthly maintenance, filed numerous complaints with Marks, the board and building managing agent Brown Harris Stevens over the years — only to be ignored, the suit says.
“We realized the board is a white man’s billionaires’ club. Because my client is not in that club” (the Tangs are of Chinese descent), “they were not treated with the same respect as others,” Bailey told The Post.
The Tangs are demanding that the board put a stop to Marks’ renovation and live up to its “fiduciary duties” on behalf of the Tangs. They’re also asking for attorney fees and unspecified expenses, but not for punitive damages — at least not yet.
Marks’ rep at Oaktree Capital said he declined to comment. A lawyer for the 740 Park Avenue board did not get back to us.