72 Berry: All That Glitters Is Not Gold


72 Berry aka the Mason Fisk Building may have been the fastest-selling development during the lean years following the real estate market implosion as well as the recipient last week of a Brooklyn Building Award but all that good press has been masking some pretty serious troubles behind the scenes at the 26-unit condo conversion project in Williamsburg. Last December, after many months trying to get numerous construction flaws remedied, the building’s condo board filed suit against the developer. A motion by the defendant filed in March summarizes the history and substance of the complaints:

After the purchasers moved into the building and elected a Board of Managers in the fall and early winter of 2009, however, the Board discovered that the promises and representations made by the defendants were untrue in that the as-built construction and design of the building failed to adhere to the construction as specified in the building plans, Specifications Report, Offering Plan and applicable building and construction codes. The Board discovered that their building contained numerous, dangerous and expensive construction and design defects, confirmed by a forensic architectural and engineering evaluation of the building. Sponsor has also, upon information and belief, failed to file for J-51 real estate tax benefits.

We’ve heard tales of woe involving structural problems, leaks, lack of heat and more. Hopefully we’ll have some photos to share next week. Unfortunately this is the kind of risk that you face when you buy in a newly constructed (or, this case, newly converted) project.
2011 Building Brooklyn Awards Announced [Brownstoner]
Mason Fiske Move-Ins Expected for September [Brownstoner]
That Was Fast! 72 Berry Sells Out [Brownstoner]
72 Berry ‘Only Thing Moving’ in Williamsburg [Brownstoner]

14 Comment

  • This is surprising as I often hear people say that this is the best building in Williamsburg.

  • daveinbedstuy

    As I have said many, many times, buyer beware of ANY AND ALL new construction.

    How many more of these must we see before people wise up???

  • This building was constructed over 100 years ago. It was merely converted to apartments recently. This is no different than a renovation of a brownstone, but apparently they did a poor job here.

  • Yikes, who is the developer? That is a surprise. Anyone know more of what the issues are? I was contract, in another building in Wburg that has recently gotten some press, and deviations from the offering plan saved us and helped us get out. There were so many and they were so vast. Everyone should read the offering plan cover to cover and everyone should research the developer. I know there is tons of hate regarding new construction, but sometimes (as in my case) it’s the only option depending on where you live.

  • brooklynheightsivyiii

    There is a simple way to avoid this sort of issue as a buyer: Hire an independent and capable inspector before you buy!

  • well, no way is this the best building in WB. Edge, 80 Met, NSP 2, all very very good buildings. old, new, whatever tho, get an inspector. it’s not like any property is immune to issues. old buildings and old apts are no picnic. i do wonder if the above could also just be the typical ploy used in a new condo – try to get sponsor to do/pay as much as possible by having an overloaded check list of defects.

  • I hear really negative things about Northside Piers. Lots of issues from leaks to cracks in the floors to horrible experiences trying to get management to respond to maintenance issues. I also hear some bad things about Edge, but I think those come mostly from the fact that many think it’s terrible looking from the outside. I do hear okay things about 80 Met.

  • The kind of inspection the purchaser of an individual unit can do will not suffice when there are engineering and structural problems, or deviations from building plans. The kind of engineering report you need to uncover massive structural problems run in the tens of thousands of dollars, take considerable time and access; and no sponsor is going to let an individual buyer inspect building wide systems (plumbing, electrical, mechanical, engineering). A personal inspection may be able to advise you of the presence of water leakage, dead outlets, poorly grouted tiles, etc., but it won’t tell you that the hvac unit is undersized or that the plumbing welds are poorly done. On the other hand, a J-51 abatement is something that should be contracted for. Most sponsors may resist it but if you’re going with new construction and the abatement has not been secured, you run a big risk on that point.

  • I have friends who live here, they seem pretty happy and apparently its one owner (ambulance chasing lawyer) who is making all of the noise

  • I live across the street and can speak to one issue and that’s the air conditioner. It sounds like a helicopter is hovering over the building any time its on. They tried wrapping it in some kind of noise insulating fabric and its better, but still unacceptably loud. They’ve been ticked once already by the city.

  • There are serious and potentially life threatening defects common to all units. This is more than just bad tile jobs, leaking windows, and improper insulation. Whether intentionally or out of sheer stupidity the sponsors cut corners, and it is the unit owners who are suffering, Living in this building has been a nightmare, and anyone who says they are happy is obtuse and must me living on another planet. It is not one owner who is making the noise, but instead all of us collectively. We were cheated, lied to, and made false promises. Future buyers of 174 Jackson and any other building developed by the Meshburg Group should be weary and extremely careful. There guys are crooks.

  • There are serious and potentially life threatening defects common to all units. This is more than just bad tile jobs, leaking windows, and improper insulation. Whether intentionally or out of sheer stupidity the sponsors cut corners, and it is the unit owners who are suffering, Living in this building has been a nightmare, and anyone who says they are happy is obtuse and must me living on another planet. It is not one owner who is making the noise, but instead all of us collectively. We were cheated, lied to, and made false promises. Future buyers of 174 Jackson and any other building developed by the Meshburg Group should be weary and extremely careful. There guys are crooks.