Problems Continue at 659 Bergen

Buyers at 659 Bergen Street (or at least the people that have signed contracts and hope to be buyers) continue to be stalled in their efforts to close on their apartments and finally occupy their homes. Many of these deals were signed in 2011 and buyers have been waiting over a year to get in. A tipster tells us that the developer of the Prospect Heights project, Boaz Gilad, has been saying that they will get the Certificate of Occupancy soon for well over a year now but it has yet to happen. On January 11, the realtor marketing the units, Aguayo Huebener, sent signers an email indicating that the building had passed all inspections and that they should start scheduling their own inspections and prepare for closing. Unfortunately, it turns out, the building had one more inspection to go. A few weeks later the building failed its gas system inspection on nine separate points. The realtor then forwarded questions from the signers to Gilad and emailed them his responses (which the tipster provided to us). He complained that the inspector with the buildings department (which he calls the plumbing department) “decided he wants to check all the plumbing again, and ALTHOUGH it was approved, he didn’t like the hot water system. We have no power to stop him from failing us…” The building failed the inspection primarily due to the venting of hot water heaters.

Several frustrated buyers have reported to DOB that somebody (the tipster says Gilad himself) has actually moved into the building despite the lack of a C of O. Several complaints (here, here and here) have been filed with the DOB on this point and though inspectors have visited the building they have been unable to gain access and therefore no action has been taken. The gas inspector also noted in his report that he was unable to access the fifth floor, the unit that is allegedly being occupied. In addition to all of this, our tipster says a few signers have been allowed to backed out of their contracts–but not to flip them for current market values. Instead, the units have been getting relisted for quite a bit more than the original asking price and our tipster says some have gone back into contract. For example, our tipster tells us, and Street Easy appears to confirm, that Unit 2D went into contract when the asking price was $369,000 in 2011 and was in contract again in December when the asking price was $449,000. Our tipster says it went into contract for $460,000.

Gilad is out of town and could not be reached for comment, however a representative from the marketer’s firm did say that the developer very much wants to obtain the C of O and close on the sales, that he is trying hard to make that happen and that there is no advantage to not closing on the properties. See a picture of the top unit with the lights on after the jump.
Buyers in Limbo at Prospect Heights Building [Brownstoner]

The top unit at night with lights on and some furniture visible.

9 Comment

  • top of the line, in a cooks kitchen

    LOl, it is a wall in the living room.

  • ugh – I feel bad for these people – but at least they are in contract at a good price.

  • LOL…new construction and a sleazy developer. This is not a new story folks. How many times have you been warned in the past about it???

    I’m also assuming that, once they get the C of O and people move in:

    1. The places will be worth far more to other unsuspecting buyers
    2. Their mortgage rate lockups will have elapsed but they will get an even lower one
    3. More problems will surface down the road

  • If the water heater is not venting properly it means carbon monoxide is venting into the building. I hope the guy with his lights on is still alive.

  • There are too many of these situations. There should be more resources for buyers to investigate the developer of a building. It’s never worth investing in a pile of sh*t no matter how cheap or where it is. If people finally stop investing in crap then maybe developers would change their ways. As a buyer from a few years back, it was near to impossible to find out information like this.

  • This is what happens when greedy real estate developers are allowed to run amok. You get what you pay for – IMO – when you want to live in a cinder-block abomination.

  • i don’t know what’s going on here, but the developer is a pretty good guy and delivers a good product. i’ve worked with him before.

  • When loooking for a home for me, I would never plunk down a bunch of money and wait for a building to be built, all the while waiting to get in. The stories of people who, after the delay of getting in, find serious building-wide construction issues they have to jointly address scares me away.

    I had issues with just trying to buy a condo in an old gut-renovated building that was more-or-less finished, and so walked when I could’t get the developer to put in the contrac that he would complete the few unfinished things. The building but had no c of o yet, though the developer had let two of the in-contract buyers (who were both unhappy because of the lies they had been told about what finishing the developer would do) move in already. Asking around the ‘hood from others whose buildings had been converted by this developer, I was warned – what isn’t in the contract, he won’t ever finish. So I was warned.

    So, yeah, silly to do this for your home. Possibly ok as an investment, where every delay just increases the time for the unit to appreciate over your contractual price, so you can make more of a profit when you turn around and sell it just after you close on it. (Not suggesting leaving the new buyers should be kept in the dark about all the inevitable problems the developer left the building with – but again, they should also be forewarned.)

  • that building was left open to the elements for YEARS when they originally stopped construction (permit problems? money problems?) NEVER would i touch anything in that building with a 500 ft poll and these developers are getting *more* money for them when people are backing out?
    People really need to do their homework first.