A Suit Grows In Brooklyn: Walentas Gets Sued Over Square Footage

Pity Brooklyn’s 110 Livingston! Mayor Bloomberg called the former Board of Education HQ a “notorious Kremlin” and “rinkydink candy store,” and Giuliani once said it should be blown up.

But even after the DUMBO developer David Walentas bought the building and converted it into fancy condos, there are still troubles.

The attorney Rishi Bhandari and his wife Heather put 10 percent down on a $795,000 apartment at 110 Livingston in March, before the building was done. And by this Wednesday, Mr. Bhandari told The Observer, they’d filed suit against Mr. Walentas’ Two Trees Development.

He says that late last month, a few days before the couple was set to close on their apartment, they found that the place was 109 square feet smaller than Two Trees had promised.

That’s apparently a 17 percent difference. “It’s fraud,” he said. “They were doing this on purpose.”

Mr. Walentas, reached on his cell phone, said he didn’t know about the suit. “I have no idea. I really don’t, really!” he said. “There are 300 people there, I’m sure one or two aren’t happy.”

According to Mr. Bhandari, who is representing himself, Two Trees gave him the chance to walk out on the contract, and even get his down payment back, when he complained about the size difference.

Instead, because he says they’ve already spent time and even paid an architect for work on the apartment, they want to stay. “Either give us the money for the missing square footage,” he said, paraphrasing his demands, “or give us the money so we can build the loft space”–there are 18-foot ceilings–“or you guys build the loft space!”

He says he’s never sued or been sued by anyone before. One reason they don’t want to take the money and walk away, he said, is that Two Trees would simply mislead other buyers.

A link to the fascinating lawsuit is here.