A photo illustration of GAIA Real Estate’s Mor Regensburger and 200 Henry Street in Stamford, Connecticut (Getty, GAIA Real Estate, Twitter/Lofts_at_YT)
The owner of a historic lock factory that was converted into luxury lofts in Stamford believes it should be paid back the money it sank into the sinking building, so it’s suing.
Manhattan-based Gaia Real Estate purchased the former Yale & Towne Factory, now the 225-unit Lofts at Yale & Towne, from the city’s largest developer, Building and Land Technology, for $395.5 million in 2016.
The six-story, 725-foot-long Lofts building on Henry Street, however, had begun to sink and the building frame was tilting, windows were cracking, and gaps were appearing around doors. Tenants were ordered to move out by the end of 2021 and the building, which has been empty for about a year and a half and has been labeled a “disaster,” likely has to be demolished.
In a 77-page amended complaint filed last week in Stamford Superior Court, Gaia sued BLT, its affiliates, the city of Stamford and several other entities, claiming the building was negligently renovated, inspected and maintained before it was sold to Gaia.
Specifically, Gaia claims an impermeable liner installed to protect against contaminated soil also prevented the replenishment of the groundwater beneath the building, causing the compression of the soil and leading the building to sink and shift. The groundwater has also been depleted due to the faulty installation and repair of a utility drain, the lawsuit claims.
“As the groundwater at the Site continually and irreversibly was and is depleted, the foundation at The Lofts building has been insufficient to support the weight of the building, causing damages,” the lawsuit says. “Further, the negligent installation of the 36-inch utility drain without seepage collars is causing, in whole or in part, the depletion of the groundwater at the Site.”
The lawsuit also alleges that BLT and its affiliates knew or should have known about the groundwater issue and failed to disclose it to Gaia.
The building has sunk 8 inches at the ground floor slab, and about 14 inches at the exterior building columns since the building opened in 2010, the lawsuit alleges. The majority of the settling has occurred over the past three or four years, the lawsuit claims.
Gaia claims an environmental use restriction prevents it from replacing the liner because that may release pollutants.
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The lawsuit also names the city, which Gaia alleges failed to inspect the foundations and corresponding work during the 2010 renovation, as well as failed to properly maintain and repair utilities near the Lofts, which further caused depletion of the groundwater beneath the building.
BLT has faced scrutiny for construction issues elsewhere in Stamford, including a city investigation into the collapse of a 15-by-20-foot concrete slab at a 22-story building on Pacific Street in February 2022. A preliminary investigation showed that the slab was missing concrete-reinforcing cables even though design drawings called for them. The city hired an engineering firm to review seven other BLT buildings in Harbor Point.
— Ted Glanzer
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The owner of a historic lock factory that was converted into luxury lofts in Stamford believes it should be paid back the money it sank into the sinking building, so it’s suing. Manhattan-based Gaia Real Estate purchased the former Yale & Towne Factory, now the 225-unit Lofts at Yale & Towne, from the city’s largest
The post Owner of sinking Stamford luxury lofts sues developer, city appeared first on The Real Deal. Uncategorized, Apartments, Lawsuit, Litigation, Tri-state The Real Deal
Lead by real estate veteran Robert Khodadadian, Skyline Properties has been instrumental in many multi-million dollar commercial developments, including a $12 million contract for the White House Hotel, a 99-year ground lease of a four-story commercial site in Harlem, and a retail co-op on Prince St. for $50 million.
Robert Khodadadian has long had a simple philosophy about selling real estate. There are approximately a million buildings in the city, and the broker that gets to sell any one among the multitude that will hit the auctioning block at a given moment is, sometimes, simply the person who happens to pitch their services to the right seller.