Today’s news:

It’s war over 16th Street condo

The Brooklyn Paper

The battle over one South Slope development is no longer just business, it’s personal.

A bitter, two-year-old dispute over construction in the fast-growing part of the neighborhood has grown into the ultimate grudge match between the builder of a four-story, luxury condo and the couple next door, who charge that their home was damaged during the condo’s construction.

The pair, Mimi Chung and Christopher Grimaldi, wants the developer to pay for thousands of dollars in repairs and has waged a PR war that they say won’t stop until they get the fix-up funds.

“We want people to be aware of the kind of builder that they are dealing with,” said Chung, describing disputes ranging from a lawsuit filed by the developer when the couple refused to let workers use their backyard as a staging area, to expletive-laden emails exchanged after workers tore a 12-foot gash in their two-story home — and then covered it with the wrong color siding.

Chung and Grimaldi have done more than merely complain to the Department of Buildings — which they, and their neighbors, have done so often that the DOB temporarily stopped following up on repeat complaints. Only two of their 24 complaints resulted in violations against the builder, Louis Sellamage.

Chung and Grimaldi have also created a Web site, www., and are even shoving flyers into the hands of potential condo buyers.

Sellamage has fired right back, threatening a lawsuit for defamation.

“Each and every public statements regarding this condominium is being noted,” Marc Coupey, Sellamage’s lawyer, told Chung and Grimaldi in a letter that warned of an immediate lawsuit if “further falsehoods” were published.

But even so, a lawyer for the couple, also a community activist, called the couple’s aggressive anti-PR a model for other homeowners in Brooklyn.

“The residents bargained in good faith and were let down,” said John Burns, lawyer and South South Slope neighborhood group founder.

“This is a good example of how to fight back.”

What’s happening on 16th Street? It depends on whether you ask homeowners Mimi Chung and Christopher Grimaldi, who live at 229 16th St., or Louis Sellamage, the developer of the new building next door, at 231 16th St. If good fences make good neighbors, perhaps these people should put up some chain link.
They said...He said...
Workers trespassed onto our roof and used it as a storage shed.A court settlement gave us the right to work there.
A hole was dug under our foundation, letting rainwater seep in. The repair was done shoddily. That problem is fixed.
A 12-foot gash was torn in our home and replaced with siding of the wrong color. No comment.
Sellamage promised to power-wash our property yet never did. No comment.
Sellamage spilled concrete all over our shutters and we had to replace them ourselves.No comment.
Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.