It has not been a great week for the Dakota.
The famous Central Park West co-op where John Lennon was murdered became embroiled in a lawsuit earlier this week accusing the Dakota’s board of discrimination against some of its residents, particularly former board chair Alphonse Fletcher Jr., who brought the suit in part because he was prevented from buying a neighboring unit. Now, a Dutch banker has found a buyer for his first-floor Dakota pied-à -terre, but prosecutors in his home country are trying to stop the sale because they claim ownership of the property.
Jan-Dirk Paarlberg is a Dutch investor with “extensive real estate holding in the Netherlands,” according to The Journal. Paarlberg was convicted last summer of fraud in connection with a $23.5 million extrortion scheme. He now faces up to four and a half years in prison, which he is fighting, but it does not sound like he has much to return to:
Dutch authorities also announced that they had seized properties owned by Mr. Paarlberg in Portugal, France and the Netherlands Antilles. They also seized a penthouse in Rotterdam, apartment buildings, a wine collection, and paintings by Renoir, Picasso and Van Dongen and other art work.
The co-op, which Paarlberg apparently never occupied, is in contract for $4.4 million. That is $100,000 less than Paarlberg bought it for in 2001—from none other than Alphonse Fletcher Jr.
Speaking of, the co-op’s current board president, Bruce Barnes, spoke with Gothamist about why, exactly, Fletcher had been denied the unit he wanted:
One of the rules of the building is: “If you own an apartment in the building already, the only thing you can buy is small rooms without kitchens, or adjacent ones if you’re going to combine apartments into one.” Barnes told us that Fletcher Jr. already has a fifth floor apartment, and a small penthouse (without a kitchen), but the board bent their own rules to allow him to buy a different apartment in the building for his mother. To make sure he didn’t use it for himself, they imposed certain restrictions, which Fletcher Jr. then used as part of his argument as to how they were discriminating against him.
Who can blame Fletcher for trying, though? Can a guy ever have too many apartments at the Dakota?