Fat cats living in an exclusive Tribeca building are battling even fatter rats.
The Cast Iron House, an 1881 doorman building with 11 duplex lofts and two penthouses, has been infested by large rodents found “crawling on couches, in kitchens, down stairs and perhaps most unsettling, in a child’s playroom,” according to a lawsuit filed by fed-up residents, including Giorgio De Luca, co-founder of the gourmet grocery chain Dean & DeLuca.
“These are New York City rats,” said lawyer H.P. Sean Dweck, who reps the residents. “These are big boy rats.”
A dozen residents have spent their own money to fix holes in drywall and cabinets created by the unwanted guests, which have turned up dead in common areas, according to the litigation.
“No one should be forced to live with rats, regardless of building type or the nature of the occupancy,” the well-heeled residents said in their Manhattan Supreme Court filing, noting they’ve “spent tens of millions of dollars” for their units — to the collective tune of $63.5 million.
Images of large rats scurrying over counter tops, down a staircase, and through couch cushions — along with a few of the dead ones — were included in court records.
It’s “a rat condition that no one would want in their building or apartment for a single night,” the residents contend.
Redesigned by noted architect Shigeru Ban and converted into condos in 2015, the Cast Iron House features a neoclassical facade, an “all-white palette” in common areas, and amenities such as a fitness center, a resident’s lounge, hydrotherapy spa, sauna and steam room, a dance/yoga studio and a courtyard.
So far, 10 of the 13 units have been sold, according to court papers, which note the building has earned two summonses from the city Health Department, which found fresh rat droppings, in two years.
Rats have had an easy time getting into the Cast Iron Condominium because of missing insulation in “many areas” of the facade, along with the absence of “fire-stopping” sealants in the walls of the building, the residents charge.
A lawyer for the condominium denied the allegations.
“We deny all of the allegations raised in the complaint and we are confident that this lawsuit will be dismissed,” said attorney Richard Klein.
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