UES Condo Renovations Wrecked Surgeon’s Neighboring Townhouse: Suit
UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A plastic surgeon’s townhouse in Lenox Hill was badly damaged by renovations to a nearby condominium that is already embroiled in another legal battle, according to a new lawsuit.
Z. Paul Lorenc, whose practice of surgery is based on Park Avenue, filed suit earlier this month against the board and managers of Saga House Condominium on East 74th Street, which sits next to Lorenc’s own townhouse between Third and Lexington Avenues.
Featuring seven bedrooms and rooftop and rear gardens, the six-storey Townhouse has attracted attention before, during Lorenc’s repeated attempts to sell the building – partly because of its large number of chimneys (“6+”, from 2009).
But Lorenc says the problems began last November, when a facade repair project at Saga House caused debris to rain down on his property, according to the lawsuit.
During a phone call with the property manager of Saga House, Lorenc agreed to have protective netting installed above his house.
Days later he was surprised to find workers ‘putting up huge scaffolding in the back and roof gardens’ of his house, as workers ‘passed freely’ through his garden and roof , according to his lawsuit.
“I basically cannot leave the back of my house, and the rear and roof gardens have been rendered totally useless due to the large scaffolding erected,” Lorenc wrote in a separate courtroom. deposit. “My daughter and I lived in constant fear while changing and showering or doing other regular household chores that the workers watched over us.”
Lorenc complained to the Department of Buildings, resulting in an order to temporarily stop work. But by then it was too late: Lorenc discovered “numerous leaks” that caused water damage throughout his home, he said.
Meanwhile, when Lorenc listed his home for sale at $11 million and for rent at $40,000 earlier this year, he found no takers despite showing the property more than 30 times – likely “due to conditions created by the construction,” the lawsuit says.
“Moved at a Glacial Pace”
In April, Saga House late deposit his own legal request for access to the Lorenc property. Lorenc, in response, documented damage to his townhouse and demanded that Saga House pay at least $20,000 in monthly fees.
Finally a judge granted access in August but forced Saga House to cover Lorenc’s legal fees and pay a higher than usual fee of $10,000 for each month he used his property because the work had been “done without permitted until the project is forcibly stopped.”
Since resuming construction on August 23, however, Saga House has “moved at a glacial pace” in terms of its Lorenc property damage insurance coverage, it alleges in the new lawsuit.
Now Lorenc is seeking damages from the Saga House board, its property managers and the consultancy and contracting companies involved in the renovations.
A lawyer for Saga House declined to comment, while the other companies named in the lawsuit did not immediately respond to requests for comment.