Controversy Increases at Site Of Suspected Toll Brothers Tower

tollbrothers Controversy Increases at Site Of Suspected Toll Brothers Tower

The lightning rod

The site of a new Toll Brothers development on Park Avenue has more problems than some irate neighbors.

Relatives of the late Joseph Bogen, the owner of the townhouse at 1108 Park Avenue that sold for $13 million in April, claim that their elderly relative was swindled into leaving the property to a Polish immigrant and her attractive daughter, according to the New York Post.

The property was purchased by 89 Park Avenue LLC, who also snapped up its neighbor at 1110 Park Avenue, paying a total of $29.5 million for the two spots. (Toll Brothers still refuses to discuss the sale or plans for a reported tower).

But ever since the sale, there’s been bad blood, with neighbors claiming the development will ruin the historic character of their Carnegie Hill neighborhood (and their views). Now, there’s a family inheritance scandal.

Bogen’s family members claim that the two women befriended the elderly pharmacist and duped him into leaving them his very valuable real estate, which they turned around and sold for a hefty chunk of change after his death.

Elzbieta Sztuka, her daughter, Karin Michonski, and Michael Wallerstein, the daughter’s fiancé, allegedly won the old man’s heart by helping him with household and financial tasks, persuading Bogen to leave all his property to them.

“He was tricked!” Michael Friedman, an attorney for Bogen’s grandnieces and grandnephews,told the Post. The relatives are now fighting in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court to get back their granduncle’s millions.

And while neighbors will likely  should be delighted to hear of anything else casting a shadow over Toll Brothers plans, it’s unlikely that either brouhaha will ultimately change plans for the property’s future.
kvelsey@observer.com