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Cynthia Rowley Infuriates Neighbors by Damaging Landmarked Home: Lawsuit

By Danielle Tcholakian | January 29, 2015 1:58pm | Updated on January 30, 2015 6:46pm
 Condo owners at 28 Perry St. suing fashion designer Cynthia Rowley claim renovations on her building at 30 Perry St. damaged their own.
Neighbors Sue Cynthia Rowley Over Home Renovation
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WEST VILLAGE — Neighbors of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley are steamed that she damaged their landmarked building while doing construction on her townhouse next door, according to a new lawsuit.

Condo owners at 28 Perry St. say workers renovating Rowley's home at 30 Perry St. did not ask the condo board's permission before installing a set of three plumbing and ventilation pipes on the outside walls of their building, according to the suit filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court. 

The neighbors also allege that Rowley should have gotten approval from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission for the new pipes on the historic 28 Perry St. building, which they say are visible from the street.

The pipes are part of a $436,400 renovation of the second and third floors of Rowley's home to add a penthouse and and replace pipes that connect to the boiler, fireplace and cooking fixtures, according to court records. The new pipes are noisy and emit smoke and fumes, the neighbors say.

Lawyers for 28 Perry St.'s condo board said in the lawsuit that Rowley's actions were "intentional and deliberate, clearly wrong, outrageous in nature, and willfully and wantonly disregarded the rights" of the condo owners and the public.

Rowley did not immediately respond to messages left with her corporate press contact and her business. Lawyers for the condo board did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission issued permits for the work at 30 Perry St. and has not received any complaints about how it was done, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

Residents of 28 Perry St. are also upset that the construction blocked a fire exit from their building that connects to Rowley's backyard, according to the lawsuit. The residents additionally claim that Rowley and the workers left "debris and personal items" in an air shaft between the properties that belongs to 28 Perry St., the lawsuit says.

The 28 Perry St. condo owners are demanding that Rowley remove the pipes, as well as the obstructions and debris, and pay damages and legal fees.

A Department of Buildings spokesman said Rowley had permits to do the work, and there are no open violations or complaints on the property. The DOB closed a complaint about the construction this week after failing to gain access to the building, online records show.

"If an individual believes there is unsafe construction or work that exceeds what is allowed by the permits, we encourage them to report the property to the agency for inspection,” said DOB spokesman Alex Schnell.