Building Defects Emerge at Pandemic-Period New Developments

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Construction Defects Emerge at Pandemic-Era New Developments

“I don’t accept the excuse of the pandemic,” said Will Hodges, a 31-year-old software developer who bought a two-bedroom apartment at Hero in early 2021 for $100,000 below the asking price — a discount of about 8 percent, not including partial coverage of his closings costs. He said he thought the discount was in line with the depressed condo market and didn’t think the building would have so many issues. “It just feels like they’ve effectively abandoned the project.”

Mr. Chandramowli said the sales team at Nest Seekers International was aware of the flooding but downplayed the damage to prospective buyers. In May 2021, a group of residents protested an open house event in the lobby by informing visitors of problems at the building.

A spokeswoman for Nest Seekers International said that the brokerage was aware of the floods at Hero but that nearly every building “experiences settling and adjustments in the first year after completion of construction.”

Complaints have only just begun in pandemic-era buildings, both for legal and financial reasons, lawyers said. In new condos, the developers typically control the residential board for the first several years, which makes ordering a costly engineering report, or paying legal fees, more difficult for individual residents. Even when homeowners band together, many choose not to go public for fear of hurting the resale value of the property, or retaliation from the developer.

Several of the residents of the troubled buildings conceded that they were taken in by slick marketing.

The Greene Street building in SoHo was promoted by Ryan Serhant, the celebrity real estate broker and a star of the reality show “Million Dollar Listing New York.” He appeared in a marketing video last spring that showcased the building’s “ginormous” lofts, with its 12-foot ceilings, 10-foot windows with automatic shades, Russian white oak floors, Caesarstone countertops and Miele appliances.

The landlord has sued some tenants for unpaid rent; several of the lawsuits are ongoing, although some tenants have already settled. Arch, the developer, said that it had received “positive feedback from most residents” and that many had renewed their leases for a second year.

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