Woman Loses $4.68M Down Payment on City Apartment

The ex-wife of a software executive lost a $4.68 million down payment on a New York City home after a judge ruled unfinished floors, and lack of heat, hot water and uninstalled closet rods were not good reasons to pull out of a contract to purchase the $18.75 million luxury cooperative apartment.

Roberta Campbell, the ex-wife of Intuit CEO William Campbell, filed a lawsuit against Mark Hotel Sponsor in late 2009 alleging the East Side property was found to be "unsafe, uninhabitable, and substantially not in conformity with the offering plan and purchase agreement" during a pre-purchase inspection leading her to fail to close.

But a judge ruled that a laundry list of problems, including missing microwave grates, did not render the suite "unsuitable for occupancy," and ruled in favor of the Mark Hotel.

"Campbell may have made a wise lifestyle decision to abandon her purchase at the Mark Hotel," Judge William H. Pauley III wrote. "Had she closed in the spring of 2009, even today Campbell would be one of the only owner/residents atop the Mark Hotel."

But "based on the evidence" and the "one-sided language of the parties agreement," Mark Hotel Sponsor was entitled to the more than $4 million down payment," the judge concluded.

An attorney for Roberta Campbell declined to comment on the matter since parts of the case are still ongoing.

The multi-million dollar suite -the third most expensive suite of the 42 available - was located on the 14th floor and was expected to come with a range of benefits, according to the suit, including a doorman at all times, concierge services, package room in the vicinity of the lobby, fitness center, and incoming mail sorted by the hotel staff. According to a posting by the Corcoran group, the Mark's amenities also include valet parking, a business center and in-house John Lobb shoe care service.

Since failing to close on the "absolutely fabulous," Campbell has settled into a new Central Park West luxury apartment, while the Mark Hotel residence remains unsold, according to judge Pauley.

"We're gratified by the judge's decision," Jeffrey Louis Braun, a lawyer for the developer with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, told ABC News in a statement.

According to the judge's ruling, "all prerequisites to closing were satisfied by April 16, Campbell breached the Purchase Agreement by failing to close. Accordingly, Sponsor is entitled to retain her down payment and any accrued interest as liquidated damages."

By Erin B 08/23/2012 01:06:00