Russian Hedgie Sues Over $53M ‘Attic’ At The Plaza

Sep 11 2008 | 8:31am ET

If you thought there were no bad rooms at The Plaza, think again.

A Russian hedge fund manager is suing the redeveloper of the famed New York hotel, alleging that the pair of penthouses he agreed to pay $53.5 million is actually an “attic-like space.” Andrei Vavilov filed suit in Manhattan state court on Friday, accusing developer El-Ad Group, which transformed the Central Park South landmark into a hybrid condominium and boutique hotel, of essentially lying about the penthouses, which Vavilov had planned to combine into a single residence.

“The disparity between what they were supposed to get and what El-Ad was planning to deliver to them is outrageous,” Vavilov’s lawyer, Y. David Scharf, told the New York Daily News.

The $31 million lawsuit alleges that El-Ad “intentionally concealed” all manner of unpleasant truths about the duplex and triplex: In the middle of what was billed as an “expansive” living room is a massive column. So-called “floor-to-ceiling” windows actually begin three feet from the floor. Twelve-and-a-half-foot ceilings are actually more like nine. And the promised sweeping views of Central Park are marred by a “hideous” drainage gate.

Vavilov’s wife allegedly “burst into tears” when she first saw the completed units this summer. The hedge fund manager claims he and his wife were refused access to them during construction and told that no updated construction plans existed.

El-Ad called Vavilov’s suit “baseless at its core.”

“The apartments as delivered are the apartments as described on the plans he reviewed and the contract he signed,” attorney Jay Neveloff told the News.


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