Condo Owners Seeing Red Over Building’s Alleged Lack of Green

Riverhouse tenants want a double serving of green.

Condo owners in Battery Park City’s high-end Riverhouse building have filed a lawsuit seeking a whole lot of green — $1.5 million worth, to be exact — because they contend their supposedly eco-friendly building isn’t environmentally friendly enough.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Steven Gidumal and Allison Keeley — who paid $4.2 million for their three-bedroom, three-bath condo in 2008 –  filed a complaint with the New York Supreme Court in May, claiming that the building was “marketed as being on the cutting edge of ‘green’ technology” but failed to deliver an acceptably eco-friendly air filtration system and heating unit.

The Sheldrake Organization, which oversaw development of the building until it was ousted in a power struggle in January, and Centurion Real Estate Partners, which currently controls Riverhouse, are named as defendants in the suit. However, Michael Abreu, a Sheldrake executive vice president, claims the suit is groundless. The “complaint about the lack of heat has no bearing on the green and sustainable features of the building,” he says.

Despite the lawsuit, Riverhouse is still seeking to obtain LEED gold certification, the second highest of four levels of eco-friendliness, from the U.S. Green Building Council. Winning such a stamp of approval requires meeting an array of environmental standards, including energy efficiency and air quality, and would certainly make the building more attractive to buyers. Not that it needs much help in that department: Leonard DiCaprio and Tyra Banks are already tenants.

About Tom

Tom is a writer and editor with a love of movies, books and all things Battery Park. He's also an avid runner with a soft spot for sunset runs on the Esplanade and sunset beers, well, pretty much anywhere.