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Developer, Architect Named in Condo Owners’ Lawsuit

By: Linda Collins

December 3rd, 2005

WILLIAMSBURG — A group of owners at a condominium complex in Williamsburg filed a lawsuit Monday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn citing the developer for breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation and negligent construction.

The Board of Managers of The Williamsburg Mews Condominium and 31 individual owners of condo units hope to recover close to $500,000 in the suit, according to their attorney, Adam Leitman Bailey, Esq. of The Law Firm of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

Specifically, the complaint — a copy of which was received in the offices of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle yesterday — names Hope Houses LLC, the developer-sponsor, as well as Shlomo Karpen, its principal; plus Bricolage Designs, the architectural firm that designed it; Douglas Pulaski, one of its architects; and Superior Construction and Roth Roofing, Brooklyn contractors responsible for completing the project.

The 24 units at The Mews, with entrances at 98, 102 and 106 Havemeyer St., are “negligently constructed” and “have caused the plaintiffs to suffer and incur substantial monetary loss and expense in connection with the common and individual property interests they hold in the condominium,” the lawsuit states.

Attorney Bailey, in a summary of the specific items of defective construction alleged in the complaint, names defective roofing materials and workmanship that have caused active roof leaks with resulting damage to bulkheads, hardwood floors and more; inadequate flashing over the heads of window lintels; improperly installed and/or inadequately sealed window sills; cement-clogged sewer pipes that have caused basement flooding; inadequate heat; and only a single layer of sheetrock between units instead of the code-required two layers.

“The Williamsburg Mews owners intend to vigorously prosecute this lawsuit,” Bailey said. “Developers who seek to profit by promising their buyers a dream home, but sell them a nightmare instead, should get the clear message that their victims are ‘mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.’”

Reached yesterday afternoon at his office in Williamsburg, developer Shlomo Karpen declined to comment without first speaking to his attorney. By evening press time, he had not called back. These particular owners apparently are mostly young couples, according to a 2002 article about The Mews that appeared in the Eagle. In that article, realtors at Insignia Douglas Elliman, the exclusive agents for the complex, were reporting that units were being “snapped up,” two-bedroom apartments selling faster than one-bedroom apartments.

“The buyers at Williamsburg Mews are young couples in their late 20’s or early to middle 30’s who are starting to raise families,” the realtor said. “Some are involved in the arts, but most are professionals, such as a woman who trains dolphins at the New York Aquarium and her husband, an Internet entrepreneur.”

In that article, it was reported that prices were ranging from $325,000 to $490,000, with the garden duplex units going for $475,000–$490,000. The size range was 790 to 1,500 square feet.


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