A construction project on a double-townhouse mansion on 69th Street is making so much noise that it’s causing residents to move away, give their poodles tranquilizers and walk around their own homes with noise-cancelling headphones, according to a New York Times story written by local resident David Margolick from this weekend. This story clearly touched a nerve; readers keep sending the link to us and other websites are having fun with it — New York magazine surmised that the pool is actually a “gate to hell.”
It’s really worth reading the whole thing, but the basics are that a couple bought two brownstones in the neighborhood (48 and 50 West 69th between Central Park West and Columbus) and have undertaken a jawdropping construction project that the author thinks could end up costing $100 million. Among the more extravagant amenities is a 10-by-60-foot swimming pool:
That pool will measure 10 by 60 feet. It will be clad in marble, and surrounded by columns, and softened by recessed lighting. For those living nearby, its self-indulgent elegance makes all the accompanying tsoris that much harder to take. “It’s not as if they’re building an orphanage,” said Andrew Resnick, the musical director of “The Cher Show,” whose apartment abuts the construction.
The residents on the block eventually discovered that the owners are singer Malou Beauvoir and businessman Pierre Bastid, “who made a fortune in energy, and recently dabbled in Alpine hotels, restaurants and pharmaceuticals.”
The initial back-and-forth between residents and owners seemed promising, but “in the past few weeks, [Block Association President Eileen Vazquez] said, the making nice has stopped.” But given all that has happened that seems highly unlikely.
Gothamist got some video of the site and you can hear for yourself below what the neighbors are dealing with:
I got about 12 seconds into that YouTube noise sample and that was enough for me.
I think that these people should be forced to listen to their construction noises in real time wherever they are. Enforced blue tooth head sets! This is horrible. I’m so sorry that the neighbors have to listen to this crap. It’s the same thing in our neighborhood as a five story building that burned was torn down and then rebuilt. While that was going on another high priced hatchery for the city’s rich folk decided to build a gym a few doors down too. We have been subjected to multiple jack hammering duels for hours and months on end. The only day of respite was Sundays and they started their work sites at 7 am. It’s truly shameful that the city and rich people allow and get away with this.
Mlle. Beauvoir recently characterized the neighbors’ complaints as “fake news”.
Her, shall we say?, tone deaf response to the deafening roar coming from her construction/vanity project seems characteristic of a ‘let them eat cake’ myopia, now rampant in the United States and, apparently, abroad.
They’re not building 50-story tower, so there won’t be any complaints in the comments, right?
The rich are indifferent to all others.
Same horrific disturbance happening here on my block where a landmark church is being renovated and multi million $ coops are being built above.
Yes the owner, Malou Beauvoir, tweeted it was fake news. Very tone deaf indeed. Again, the super rich get to disturb 100s of neighbors and we just have to live with it? Yet their dust, noise & emissions deep into our homes! Support and follow us at @spiritw69st!
Once they actually move in I think this home should become the neighborhood collection site for non-cleaned up dog poop.
Blah blah blah you’re just sour you don’t have their buying power. As long as the building and construction site are legal and done with the right permit issued by the authorities they’re not doing anything wrong.
They may not be doing anything illegal, but they are doing something very wrong.
The rich are not indifferent to others and they have the right to build just like “poor” rent stabilized tenants have the right to live in their apartments forever and hand them down to their children as an inheritance. There are construction projects all over the city whether it’s new construction or Local Law 11 exterior work. High rise apartment buildings are going up all around us, but this project, which let’s not forget is completely legal and has DOB approvals on every level, is what is bothering everyone. It’s not even close to the size of the major projects that dig down into bedrock even further to make parking spots for the condos. There won’t be any cars in this home from what I have read. That’s much better than multilevel garages. But Westsiders are all up in arms because the owners are rich! Are we so intolerant on this side of Fifth Avenue? Will we only allow double sized homes on the East side because our West side”values “ are above this? How is it anyone’s business what their pool will look like? Would Mr. Margolik of the NYT’s feel better if the pool was surrounded by concrete and not marble or would he have been avast that the owners were only putting cement around it. Who are we to pass judgment on their pool. Last I knew, pools were good for ones health and maybe the owners are serious swimmers. Enough already, because my guess is that all the complainers would jump right into that pool if they were lucky enough to secure an invite one day.
I’m glad to see someone is sticking up for the rights of the mega-rich. Because they’re so oppressed in NYC these days!
The comments on this blog alone make it pretty plain that people of all financial levels are prone to minimizing impact on others and justifying benefits to themselves. It isn’t really about the rich – their wealth is obviously relevant to the scale of harm they are doing, but not to their inability to see things from others’ perspectives.
Perfect example of the DeBlasio lame-duck rubber-stamp landmarks commission. Jackie O would be horrified. Rome burns and all Bill has ever cared about is his delusional presidential run.
You cannot landmark interior of a building not open to the public. Certainly cannot tell owners of a residential property what they can and cannot do with interior space unless they agree. Hence the façade of those two buildings remained whilst everything behind them was demolished.
Contrary to what some around here believe there is still such a thing in this country as private property.
Glad mayor Deblasio is fine with this.
Until recently I lived at 562 WEA and endured the dual construction horrors for several years at the W. 87th Street garage tear down to build up the luxury Chamberlain whilst catty corner the St. Agnes Boys’ School transitioned simultaneously to condos. It was a nightmare. It was filthy. It was at times deafening loud. Some days the M86 couldn’t make the turn onto WEA and many days cars and trucks and wailing ambulances and school buses would back up in either direction on WEA with nowhere to pass due to all of the double-parked construction vehicles and construction dumpsters. Car horns ensued. Lots and lots of car horns. Did I mention it was a nightmare? After more than a decade at 562, in a home I adored, with neighbors I was quite fond of, I moved. Other neighbors who could afford to, moved as well. My rent-stabilized friends remain to endure the horror.
I mostly work from home as my office relocated to London several years ago. So many friends say how lucky I am not to have to commute to an office — I thought so too, at first, until I realized what construction in the city is all about in such close quarters for 8-10 hours a day, all day, every day. I, too, wore Bose noise cancelling headphones during the day; ran to the back of closets or to the bathroom to take global phone calls; and have a dog who grew up in the city and was a good city dog, however who is now completely shell-shocked from construction noise.
As the NYT article makes clear, the new homeowners may be within their legal rights to eventually enjoy their pool and new home if they ever choose to visit their pied a terre, however the laws need updating to help support NYers who suffer in the meantime during the construction process.
And I agree, the new “neighbors” should have to sit and listen to the misery of deafening construction noise for hours upon hours upon ours upon days, upon weeks and weeks. Jerks.
The NY Times shows the back of the “building.” It is virtually just the facade that is still standing. It looks like someone is starting to put together a gingerbread house.
How was this renovation ever allowed?!
See my response above, landmark laws in NYC only extend to exterior of private homes, not what is behind the façade.
This happens far more often than many imagine. The landmarked façade remains while the actual building is demolished and property redeveloped.
Nowadays, the economic development is more and more rapid, people’s income is also higher, many people pursue the perfection of construction, however, the noise impact of construction is also serious. Therefore, we will buy some headphones to wear to stop noise. I saw a beautiful ear stud the day before yesterday. Thank you for your help.
Two boroughs of London are particularly filled with wealthy folks doing this kind of deep excavation for pools and such: Kensington and Westminster. Same extended noise issue happening…and along with it, building collapses and foundation problems with neighboring houses. NYC had better get ahead of this deep excavation thing before it turns us into a sink hole of uninhabitable investment properties. There’s an interesting documentary on youtube…locatable by searching for “excavation wars.”
A criticalpoint not mentioned in this article is that this is not normal construction noise. They are jackhammering through solid rock to create 2 or 3 below-grade levels for the pool and a screening room.
Again, a bunch of nimbys complaining about someone rehabbing old buildings. If they are following the rules (construction times, permits, etc) then stop your complaining. You live in NYC and noise is part of life.