Russian Billionaire Sues Over "Attic-Like" $50 Million Plaza Penthouse
Russian billionaire Andrei Vavilov, who signed a $53.5 million contract sight unseen for an ultra-luxe penthouse at New York's famed Fifth Avenue hotel-turned-apartment building The Plaza (above), is suing the developers claiming the finished product is more like a tenement. Vavilov made the purchase prior to completion of the Plaza's $500 million renovations last year based on CAD models and a video presentation, which promised the residence would be the "epitome of luxury."
However, in a just-filed lawsuit, Vavilov accuses Plaza devloper El-Ad Properties and real estate agents Stribling & Associates of pulling a "bait-and-switch" in which they secretly made "unilateral and impermissible design changes" to the plans, the London Telegraph reports. He claims they made the apartment smaller, shrank the size of its windows and lowered the ceilings turning it into an "attic-like" garret instead of an elegant aerie.
Vavilov, who reportedly made $600 million six years ago when he sold his Russian oil company, Severnaya Neft, is demanding the return of the $10.7 million deposit he has already paid out and wants at least $20 million in damages for alleged breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trading practices and negligence. A lawyer for the defendants described his claims as "baseless".