New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Luxury Fifth Avenue Condo Buyers Take Developer to Court Over Defects

Midtown, Manhattan

Construction defects, luxury condo, developer, condo buyers, Fifth Avenue.

A $6 million condo unit atop 685 Fifth Ave. has triggered a lawsuit against the developer.

March 12, 2024

The rich are not all that much different from the rest of us, as it turns out. They, too, buy condo apartments with so many defects that buyer and developer wind up in court.

The latest proof of this fact of New York City real estate life can be found at 685 Fifth Ave., where John and Diane Goodman have sued luxury developer Michael Shvo for alleged construction defects in their one-bedroom, $6.1 million unit at Mandarin Oriental Residences, a new, 69-unit development atop the building that once housed Gucci's flagship store, Crain's reports. The developer has converted upper floors once used for offices into high-end apartments, sales of which are expected to pull in $343 million, according to the project’s offering plan.

But a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court claims that the Goodmans' pricey condo is far from perfect — that millwork is warped, stone counters are missing, and bedroom closets are much bigger than advertised, blocking ceiling lights, according to court filings. It gets worse.

“Defendant Shvo’s interactions with plaintiff were characterized by unprofessionalism to an alarming degree, including the use of foul language, refusal to acknowledge errors and outright toxic conduct,” says the suit, which is seeking around $1 million in damages, costs and fees, including for money the Goodmans allegedly lost in the stock market because they spent it on a new home instead.

Shvo issued a statement through a spokesman: “We went above and beyond our obligations to accommodate a buyer who raised minor issues. After agreeing to make the requested changes — which they admit were not required and not addressed at closing — we never heard back from the buyer. We remain committed to taking any reasonable steps to ensure they are satisfied.

"So what we have here is another case of they said, he said. This one, like so many before it, has landed the disputants in court.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?