New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

LEGAL/FINANCIAL

HOW LEGAL/FINANCIAL PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED BY NYC CO-OPS AND CONDOS

Brooklyn Waterfront Condos Sue Over Raucous Block Parties

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Luxury condominiums, lawsuit, waterfront parks, condo boards.

This Brooklyn waterfront park has attracted raucous block parties – and a $2 million lawsuit.

Oct. 12, 2020

The boards of three luxury condominium developments along the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, waterfront are suing the city for more than $2 million, claiming Parks Department officials have failed to maintain the publicly managed green spaces and piers fronting their buildings, while also allowing raucous revelers to party late into the night, Brownstoner reports. 

“It’s become a dumping ground, where you can drink, smoke weed and party at night,” says Keith Berger, the president of the condo board for 1 Northside Piers at Kent Avenue and North 5th Street. “If you look at Brooklyn Bridge Park or Long Island City … they have become a destination point in a positive way. Our [waterfront park] has become a destination point in a negative way.”

Berger’s building, along with neighboring 2 Northside Piers and the Edge condo complex, have filed a complaint against city officials in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging that park stewards have violated their commitment to take care of the waterfront lawns and piers. The developers built and still privately own the area but handed over upkeep to the city after completing them as part of a city zoning deal.

The three condo boards are asking for their money back for hundreds of thousands of dollars they paid in annual fees since 2014 to the city for park maintenance of the so-called Waterfront Access Areas between North 5th and North 7th streets, along with costs for third-party repairs, attorney fees and costs for this lawsuit, according to the Wednesday court filings. They claim the city owes the board of the Edge buildings at least $1.4 million and the boards of both Northsides a total of $700,000.

The affidavit details a laundry list of complaints that residents say have been an issue for years, including rat infestations due to large leaking dumpsters, more than a dozen street lights that have gone unfixed for 18 months, pavers either jutting out creating a tripping hazard or missing entirely, off-leash dogs, and skateboarders destroying benches that are then never replaced.

“Large groups of people have congregated in the Waterfront Access Areas after hours on a near-nightly basis throughout the summer months,” the complaint reads, “causing a significant disturbance to the condominiums’ residents by … gathering for noisy ‘block parties’ at which attendees play loud music and consume alcohol in public, and by setting off fireworks from the Waterfront Access Areas.”

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