Hell No: Buyers Revolt, Sue Developer


All was well and good when they put down deposits on luxury condos in Hell's Kitchen a few years ago, but then the economy tanked – and these residents are miffed that the price of living hasn't gone down as well.

The group put down money for the homes at The 505 in 2007 and 2008, but the economy took a turn for the worst as they waited for their digs – and now they're banding together to fight the developer who sold them the properties, according to a published report.

Meanwhile, the developer says the lawsuits have no teeth.

The Facebook group, called 505 West 47th Street, started out as a spot where potential buyers could socialize, but it turned into a place of buyer's remorse – one where neighbors chatted about going back on their contracts, reports The New York Post.

Then the group decided to meet in person – a campfire chat that resulted in four lawsuits against Lev Parkview Developers. Overall, nearly 40 percent of the developer's 109 apartments – and more than $35 million in contracts – are covered by the lawsuits. The revolt marks one of the biggest buyer riots in recent history, according to the Post.

Two other buyers have sued in private lawsuits.

"This is a mini David-vs.-Goliath situation. We have 43 little slingshots getting the attention of Goliath," Jon Zanoff, who signed an $880,000 contract two years for a one-bedroom, told the Post. The finance exec figures that the value of his condo has plummeted by more than 10 percent already.

The lawsuits hinge on an old law that requires developers of buildings with 100 or more units to give potential buyers property reports, which Lev Parkview Developers didn't, according to the paper. The developer claims the law doesn't apply to it because it got rid of 10 units, which puts it under the 100-plus units that fall under the regulation.

Whatever the case, the buyers are hoping that the lawsuits can get them out of their contracts. At this point, the developer has said it will only deal with buyers on an individual basis – and ultimately, Lev Parkview believes the suits will go nowhere.

"No developer that I know of will deal with a group of buyers and negotiate en masse," Stephen Kliegerman, of the broker Halstead, told the Post. "If the market had continued to go up, I don't think they would be offering to give the developer more money." 


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