New York City now has several ultratall buildings constructed for ultrawealthy owners. They're a Jungian archetype of howling inequality: many apartments stand empty, since they're either pieds-à-terre for the moneyed classes or wealth stores for foreign tax-evading gazillionaires.
It turns out they're also terribly built!
The building at 432 Park Ave — pictured above — is such a skinny little stick of a thing that it resembles a rendering glitch in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Which is part of the problem: Apparently it sways back and forth so vigorously in the wind that it causes the elevators to shut down, trapping whoever's unlucky enough to be in inside.
And that's only one of the many, many issues that have emerged in this building. There are so many water problems, electrical problems, and noise problems that the ultrarich residents are now suing the developers for lousy construction.
"Far from the ultraluxury spaces that they were promised, however, Unit Owners were sold a building plagued by breakdowns and failures that have endangered and inconvenienced residents," the complaint said.
The complaint cited defects in a number of interrelated systems in the building, many of which present "life safety" issues.
Residents have been trapped "on several occasions" for hours in stalled elevator cars, at least in part because of the building sway that occurs in towers of such immense height, the suit said.
There have been a number of floods and leaks, both on high floors and in the subbasement, which the board attributes to poor plumbing installation. Some 35 units and common areas were damaged by water, causing millions in damages, and one flood disabled two residential elevators for weeks.
Noise complaints related to the quality of construction were frequent. The suit claims that even Richard Ressler, a founder of CIM Group and a unit owner, once said the sound and vibration issues were "intolerable," and made it difficult to sleep during inclement weather. Another resident said the trash chute "sounds like a bomb" when garbage is tossed.
(CC-4.0-licensed photo of 432 Park Ave via Wikimedia)