Only in New York: A Millionaire and a Billionaire Are Fighting Over a Rooftop Extension
It’s not exactly David and Goliath.
Billionaire Ray Dalio is being sued by his millionaire neighbor over an addition he made on the top of his apartment in New York City.
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During the pandemic, Dalio constructed a stucco penthouse on top of the sixth-floor SoHo apartment where various of his children have been living for years, The New York Times reported. It includes a kitchenette, a half-bathroom, and a 2,000-square-foot landscaped deck. Dalio is billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, the biggest hedge fund in the entire world.
But his neighbor, former CEO of Pier 59 Studios CEO Federico Pignatelli della Leonessa, told the paper that he’s worried about the structural integrity of the building as a result of the project. Pignatelli says he was only informed of Dalio’s plans when it was about to begin. Pignatelli also said that when he entered his apartment in May 2021, he found heavy construction materials scattered on his portion of the roof.
“I’m Italian, Ray’s Italian,” Pignatelli told The Times. “We’re neighbors!” He said he no longer sleeps in the apartment. “We should be respecting each other and helping each other, but he’s incredibly arrogant.”
Pignatelli has filed a lawsuit against Dalio, one of his sons, two of his daughters-in-law, two architects, two engineers, a contractor, the board of the building co-op, as well as the president of the board, accorging to the Times. Pignatelli is asking for relief and “in excess” of $10 million in damages, Insider reported citing court documents.
“We have confidence that the legal system will handle this situation appropriately,” Dalio’s attorney Tom Sinchak told the Times. He maintains that the Dalio family obtained all required approvals for the construction.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Buildings said last May inspectors visited the new structure. They said it “did not fully comply” with the plans the city approved, however they “did not observe any structurally hazardous conditions.”
The chairman of the building’s co-op board and its lawyer did not provide a comment to the Times. However, a report commissioned by the board claimed that “cosmetic” damage to Pignatelli’s apartment is likely linked to Dalio’s project, but there’s “no basis for any conclusion that the newly constructed roof deck and penthouse above Unit 6G jeopardizes the building in any way.”
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