The buyer of a $1.5 million condominium in the Villa BXV complex in Bronxville wants her contract canceled, citing alleged design defects.
Sharon Herstein sued the condominium sponsor, Gateway Kensington LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut, last month in Westchester Supreme Court.
The condominium was marketed and sold “as a top-tier luxury product that would afford owners and residents an elegant, pampered lifestyle,” the complaint states. “The sponsor has not delivered on that promise.”
“Our reputation as a high-quality home builder comes first,” Fareri Associates, Greenwich, said in a written statement. “We take the responsibility that comes with it very seriously. … It is unfortunate that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to satisfy one of our buyers.”
Fareri said it would not comment on specific issues in the lawsuit.
“We can, however, unequivocally state that we remain committed to working with all of our owners and residents to assure that the Villa BXV experience is all that we have promised and that they should expect.”
Fareri said it has built a reputation for quality and integrity for 40 years, building thousands of houses, townhouses, condominium apartments and rental units.
“In fact, we enjoy the distinction of never having been sued by one of our buyers.”
The 53-apartment condominium complex was built on a former industrial site on Kensington Road, next to the Metro-North train station and Bronxville business district.
The 2015 offering plan priced the apartments at $1.1 million to $3.8 million.
Herstein agreed to pay $1,491,164 for a 1,319-square-foot Villa BXV condo with a 393-square-foot patio in 2016, according to the complaint, and closed the deal in October 2017.
She would not have bought the condo, the complaint states, if not for the private patio and large courtyards. But her patio has been rendered unusable, she claims, and the courtyards have been seriously compromised.
Poor drainage, according to the complaint, has caused water to pool on the patio and courtyard decks. Standing water then allegedly mixes with organic material, creating a breeding ground for mosquitos, parasites, mold and bacteria.
Initially, she alleges, the sponsor denied there was a problem, but eventually the condominium acknowledged by an email message to homeowners that there was “clear evidence of mosquito infestations, seemingly caused by standing water on the flat roof system installed in the plaza deck patio areas.”
The proposed remedy, spreading gravel under the plaza deck pavers, she claims, will not solve the problem.
Herstein says the developer also botched two attempts to repair defective wood floors in her apartment.
She claims that she can hear “the unmistakable sound of toilet waste” descending behind a master bedroom wall and flowing under the floor. And she said that she can smell cigarette smoke, cooking odors and stale air from the foyer’s fresh air vent.
She alleges that the noise of exit doors opening and closing in a building corridor has made a second bedroom unusable.
The lawsuit also blames the problems on the general contractor, the architect and three of the five condominium board managers who were appointed by the sponsor.
Herstein is demanding that her purchase agreement be rescinded and that she be reimbursed for her costs, or alternatively, for damages of at least $600,000.
She is represented by Harrison attorney James R. Anderson.
New buildings always need corrections, Dennis E. Glazer, president of Villa BXV’s homeowner’s board, said in a telephone interview. There have been issues with drainage and insects and other “punch list” items, he said, and Fareri has been “incredibly responsive and done a first rate job.”
He said the developer has hired a hydrologist and a biologist, who will report to the homeowners in February, and has pledged to absorb all cost and spare no expense fixing the problems.