BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The buyer of Norman Mailer’s top-floor, walk-up apartment in Brooklyn Heights is suing to be released from his contract and get his deposit back, according toThe New York Times and other media, noting a civil complaint filed in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn Wednesday.
The buyer, identified by the Times as Wesley Golby, a hedge fund manager, contends that the Mailer estate failed to provide evidence to back up assurances that Mailer’s 1960s renovation work had been done legally and in accordance with zoning laws and building codes.
“This is not about money,” Golby’s lawyer, William Fried told the Times. “Wes loved the apartment. His problem is he loved that apartment as it is and he does not want to go in and find out he can’t have the apartment he wants.”
“Mailer, apparently seeking to conquer a lifelong fear of heights, essentially had the roof lifted up to create a tri-level crow’s nest of sorts. A series of ladders lead up several flights, with landings and small rooms resembling tiny ship galleys on each level,” the Times wrote.
The Corcoran Group, which had the listing for the apartment — originally listed at $2.5 million and sold to Golby for $2.08 million — is named in the complaint, but told the Times the brokerage had not been notified about the lawsuit and would not comment on pending litigation.
Eric D. Sherman, a lawyer representing the Mailer estate, said in a statement that his client “has complied fully with the terms of the underlying contract of sale and has made no misrepresentations whatsoever. This is simply a case of buyer’s remorse.”
Research of the property records for the building, at 142 Columbia Heights, done by the Times reveals an approved alteration to the structure in 1960 but no description of the exact nature of the work and a certificate of occupancy issued in June 1961 doesn’t mention the rooftop changes.
Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the Department of Buildings, would not comment on this specific case. Since 1938, owners have been required to obtain a certificate of occupancy after any change to the legal use of a building, he told the Times.