Judge Takes Pity On Besieged 740 Park Millionaires
By Emily Jane Fox
June 16, 2016
Construction noises plaguing the tony building’s residents must be temporarily dialed down.
Shots rang through the halls of the vaunted 740 Park Avenue earlier this week when wealthy neighbor turned against wealthier neighbor—that is, if you could hear them over the construction din supposedly emanating from Oaktree Capital billionaire Howard Marks’s four-year-long renovation of his 30-room duplex.
Semiconductor magnate Hamburg Tang and his wife, Miranda, are run ragged by the interminable hammering, the humming, the whirring of machines that they say have woken them up sometimes before nine A.M., forced them to try to sleep in other bedrooms in their apartment, damaged irreplaceable artwork, and cracked crown moldings in their home, which they have lived in for more than 20 years. It has been unbearable for them—at 85 and 80 years old, respectively—for their domestic bliss to be shattered by a billionaire who paid $52.5 million for the palace above them; so much so that the couple filed a lawsuit earlier this week against Marks and the building’s co-op board for failing to fulfill its fiduciary duties to them by not sticking to rules that govern renovation projects and noise codes in the building. All of this has weighed on Miranda, in particular, who the lawsuit claims is languishing in a general “sense of hopelessness,” depressed and anxious about whether she will ever relish in the quiet sanctuary that was once home to Jackie Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller.
Her peace, at least for now, is about to be restored. Judge Kathryn Freed ordered the co-op board to show cause at a hearing in July as to why the court shouldn’t rule in the Tangs’ favor. As both sides await a trial date, Judge Freed ordered that the board must abate the violations of the New York City noise code, which she noted “have and continue to affect the health of the Tangs.” Starting next week, any continuing construction must occur between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 6 P.M., though quiet work can go on for a half hour before and and an hour after that period. All workers must depart by 7:30 P.M.
“Although we will not be satisfied until our clients can live peacefully, the judge’s order and declaration that the noise must stop should result in the beginning of the end of this battle,”Adam Leitman Bailey, the Tangs’ attorney, said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Marks declined to comment. A representative for 740 Park’s board did not immediately responded to requests for comment.