Ian Bruce Eichner Sued Over Alleged Building Defects At Madison Square Park Tower
The condominium board at the new Madison Square Park Tower has taken legal action against the building's developer, Ian Bruce Eichner, and his partners, claiming New York City could soon force the residents out of their newly purchased condominiums.
In a lawsuit, the board of managers at the 60-story, 83-unit Madison Square Park Tower accused Eichner of constructing a building "rife with defective conditions" and "shoddy workmanship" and failing to secure a permanent certificate of occupancy, which they say means the city's Department of Buildings could order them to leave and jeopardizes their mortgage payments. The Real Deal first reported the lawsuit.
The residents' suit claims the building at 45 East 22nd St. has a "systemic lack of firestopping," potentially a life-threatening hazard, and the new luxury units were built with hardwood floors that have warped and separated, some windows that don't open and too much "apartment odor and noise transmission."
The building’s architect, Hill West Architects, is named as a defendant in the suit, as is Eichner's firm, Continuum Cos., and lender Madison Realty Capital, which provided a $167.5M loan that the board claims should have been classified as an equity investment.
It is certainly not the first high-profile building that has seen infighting between the condo board and developers. In 2021, residents at 432 Park Ave. sued developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties for $125M, arguing “sponsor malfeasance” has left them dealing with a slew of problems including apartment floods and terrible noise.
Construction at Madison Square Park Tower finished in 2017, per TRD, and a $20M duplex unit is the only apartment that remains unsold. In 2018, Eichner sued Dune Real Estate and Fortress Investment Group, claiming the pair were stopping his efforts to access funding for construction and blocking him from buying one of the units. MRC's loan was used to settle the dispute and remove them as partners.
The board of managers is seeking at least $21.4M combined from the defendants, including attorneys' fees, and is asking the New York State Supreme Court to seize the equity payments MRC allegedly took from the sale of units as improper loan distributions.
Eichner didn't respond to TRD's request for comment, and MRC's spokesperson said its loan has been paid down.