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Super-rich flee swaying NYC skyscraper amid complaints of faulty elevators trapping residents and trash chute sounding like ‘bomb detonation’ – as Billionaires’ Row apartments are slashed by up to $60m

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A number of super-rich New Yorkers are leaving one of the Big Apple’s most luxurious skyscrapers amid allegations the building doesn’t live up to its high-value billing. 

432 Park Avenue, a 1,396-foot tower on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, is facing an ongoing lawsuit from its condominium board over alleged faulty elevators, leaking plumbing and noise issues.  

Real estate brokers told the Wall Street Journal that the lawsuit may be playing a role in a number of uber-wealthy residents looking to leave, even if it means taking a multi-million-dollar loss. 

Realtor Nikki Field, a luxury agent for Sotheby’s International Realty, told the outlet: ‘The truth is that we’ve been avoiding the building.’ 

432 Park Avenue, a 1,396-foot tower on Manhattan's Billionaires' Row, has seen a number of uber-rich residents take losses to sell their apartments

432 Park Avenue, a 1,396-foot tower on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, has seen a number of uber-rich residents take losses to sell their apartments 

When it opened sales in 2013, the luxury skyscraper attracted famous residents including singer Jennifer Lopez

When it opened sales in 2013, the luxury skyscraper attracted famous residents including singer Jennifer Lopez 

The lavish skyscraper made waves in the New York City real estate world when it first opened sales in 2013, and for a short time it was the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. 

It attracted a number of famous faces and moguls looking to live in the status symbol, including singer Jennifer Lopez and Saudi retail and real-estate magnate Fawaz Al Hokair, who bought the penthouse in 2016 for $87.66 million. 

But residents reportedly complained of a number of issues after moving in, including rumors that high-altitude apartments would sway and creak over the city below. 

Field said that she hasn’t taken any potential buyers to the tower due to the alleged issues, as she questioned: ‘How can I advise my buyers to take that risk, and then expect them to work with me again if it goes bad?’ 

One potential buyer, billionaire tequila mogul Juan Beckmann Vidal, made headlines in 2021 when he was in contract for a $46.25million apartment on the 86th floor in 2016 when a ‘catastrophic water flood’ caused major damage to units on the 83rd, 84th, 85th, and 86th floors.

The lawsuit was filed that year, and has since seen 28 different witnesses give at least 45 days of deposition testimony, creating a reported 4 million pages of court documents. 

The skyscraper’s developers denied the allegations to the Wall Street Journal and said the claims were ‘an effort to wrest unwarranted payments.’ 

The building’s sponsor CIM Group added in a statement that the lawsuit created a ‘false narrative’ and was ‘inaccurately disparaging.’ The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from DailyMail.com. 

Among those who have taken a loss to sell their apartments is billionaire financier Thomas Peterffy (pictured), who sold his 84th floor home for $13.5 million, almost $8 million less than the $21.39 million he paid for it in 2016

Among those who have taken a loss to sell their apartments is billionaire financier Thomas Peterffy (pictured), who sold his 84th floor home for $13.5 million, almost $8 million less than the $21.39 million he paid for it in 2016

The view from Jennifer Lopez's former home, which she bought in 2018 for $15.3 million before selling a year later for $17.5 million

The view from Jennifer Lopez’s former home, which she bought in 2018 for $15.3 million before selling a year later for $17.5 million 

Amenities in the tower's multi-million-dollar apartments include private pools, gyms, and a residents-only Michelin Star restaurant

Amenities in the tower’s multi-million-dollar apartments include private pools, gyms, and a residents-only Michelin Star restaurant 

Among those who have taken a loss to sell their apartments is billionaire financier Thomas Peterffy, who sold his 84th floor home for $13.5 million, almost $8 million less than the $21.39 million he paid for it in 2016. 

An unnamed owner of a 50th floor, three-bedroom apartment recently put their unit on the market for $17.5 million, despite paying $18.93 million for it in 2016. 

Another home was also recently bought directly from the developer for $12.3 million, almost a third less than its original listing of $18.25 million. 

The penthouse is also up for grabs, with Hokair currently asking for $105 million after he previously put it on the market for $169 million in 2021. He bought it in 2016 for $87.66 million. 

And since the lawsuit became public in 2021, 11 apartments have been sold from the building, which on average sold for 3.7 percent less than their original sale prices. 

Among the units that were publicly listed, they sold for a staggering 27.4 percent less than their highest asking price, the WSJ found through property records. 

In that time, prices in Manhattan’s luxury real estate market rose by 11.3 percent from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2024, potentially telling over the impact the lawsuit had on 432 Park Avenue’s fortunes. 

There are currently 18 apartments for sale through the building, leaving it 14 percent vacant while owners would typically see that number in the single figures. 

‘That’s double the normal market share of listings that we usually see,’ warned Jonathan Miller of realty firm Miller Samuel, adding that number is ‘something to be concerned about.’ 

The building is still among the most lavish in the Big Apple, with Gaëlle Pereira Benchetrit (pictured) and her husband, media executive Yossi Benchetrit, recently splashing $70.5 million for a second unit in the building

The building is still among the most lavish in the Big Apple, with Gaëlle Pereira Benchetrit (pictured) and her husband, media executive Yossi Benchetrit, recently splashing $70.5 million for a second unit in the building 

The Benchetrits sold their lower-level apartment (pictured) for $30.5 million so they could move to a higher, larger unit - a sign that realtors say shows that 432 Park Avenue still has clout

The Benchetrits sold their lower-level apartment (pictured) for $30.5 million so they could move to a higher, larger unit – a sign that realtors say shows that 432 Park Avenue still has clout

While 432 Park Avenue has seen some residents flee, realtors say it still has significant pull in the Big Apple real estate market. 

One particular sale that made waves was in the spring of 2022, when media executive Yossi Benchetrit and his wife Gaëlle Pereira Benchetrit snapped up a much sought after 82nd floor apartment. 

The couple paid a staggering $70.5 million for their main home, alongside two smaller units for their staffers – after the unit was originally on the market for $90 million. 

They are selling their lower-floor apartment for $30.5 million, as realtor Shari Scharfer Rollins said the lavish building reeled them in. 

‘They just couldn’t leave 432,’ she told the WSJ. ‘When you’re outside the building, you can poopoo it…but when you walk in, there’s magic.’ 



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