A millionaire financier has sued his “incredibly arrogant” billionaire neighbor for building a huge pergola on the roof of their SoHo penthouse that he claims crushes his apartment below.
Federico Pignatelli della Leonessa has lived in the West Broadway Arches building, built in the 1880s, since 1991 when he purchased Unit 6H for $650,000 in a rare opportunity at the time for a non-artist to own in the Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
Now he says he is unable to live in his loft after billionaire neighbor Ray Dalio’s son, Paul Dalio, and his wife Kristina Nikolova Dalio built “a brand new seventh floor”, including a gigantic pergola of 15 feet, which is not up to code. .
Pignatelli said their pergola crushes his apartment and made it unsafe for him or his daughter to occupy the loft.
Pignatelli has now sued the Dalio family, including the Bridgewater Associates patriarch, one of his sons and two daughters-in-law, among other things for structurally compromising his home.
Federico Pignatelli della Leonessa (left) has lived in West Broadway Arches since 1991 when he purchased Unit 6H for $650,000. Now he says he is unable to live in his loft after billionaire neighbor (right) Ray Dalio’s son Paul Dalio and his wife Kristina Nikolova Dalio built ‘a brand new seventh floor’, including a gigantic 15-foot pergola, which came out of codes
He accuses the Dalio family, including the Bridgewater Associates patriarch, one of his sons and two daughters-in-law, among others, of structurally compromising his home. The pergola can be seen peeking above the SoHo building
Paul and Kristina no longer live in the 6G unit, which was purchased in 2013 for $4.3 million, and it is now occupied by Dalio’s other son, Mark. They have a second unit – 5G – which was purchased six months later for $2.8 million.
“I’m Italian, Ray is Italian, we’re neighbours!” Pignatelli said The New York Times. “We should respect and help each other, but he’s incredibly arrogant.”
Dalio argues that Pigatelli, who has spent his time in Los Angeles and Milan, only named him in the lawsuit to embarrass him in a settlement and he denies the defendants acted improperly.
The family’s attorney, Tom Sinchak, told The Times that the family had obtained approval before starting the project and were “confident that the justice system will handle this situation appropriately”.
However, Pigatelli said he was not made aware of the project until it was about to begin and when he returned to New York in May 2021 after fleeing due to the pandemic, he found his side of the roof covered in building materials and the newly built penthouse on his neighbor’s side.
Paul and Kristina only started building after Pigatelli refused to sell them his loft.
DailyMail.com has contacted Pigatelli for comment.
The millionaire would then spend a year texting Dalios and the co-op’s board of directors before filing a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court in 2022.
He filed photographic evidence which he says shows structural damage caused by the pergola’s structural support, which bleeds into its foundation.
From scattered skylights and broken mirrors to cracks in ceilings and walls, Pigatelli says the Dalio’s new addition compromises the structure of the entire building.
“I tried to warn you that things were getting worse because of the construction. And I had no choice but to sue,’ Pigatelli sent Dalio at one point. “A mirror literally exploded in my bathroom due to the structural change, and if my daughter or I had been there, we would have been seriously injured or even killed.”
He filed photographic evidence which he says shows structural damage caused by the pergola’s structural support, which bleeds into its foundation. A mirror in one of his bathrooms exploded (pictured)
The Dalios have built what Pigatelli calls a ‘seventh floor’ on the roof, which he says threatens the structure of the building
Pigatelli’s roof door is now misaligned due to construction
A skylight also broke in Pigatelli’s loft, which he bought in 1991 for $650,000
He also showed multiple cracks throughout the house that appeared during and after the Dalio was built.
He also argues that similar buildings — such as the parking lot that collapsed in Manhattan in April, killing one — prove that Dalio’s pergola and new additions pose a similar risk.
“The new penthouse, decks and associated construction, as occupied – effectively a new 7th floor – impose a load calculated to exceed 200,000 pounds resting on and supported by the building’s 140-year-old wooden columns that they were never meant to withstand,’ a 24-page letter, filed with Mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Buildings, said, according to the Times.
When the Buildings Department conducted an inspection of the building, it found that the new edition “did not fully conform” to city-approved plans. However, he did not find that the structure provided “unsafe conditions”.
In May 2022, city inspectors then determined that “the work is not following plans.” The plans are not up to code.’
The Dalios said they would fix the problem, but did not, the Department told The Times.
The pergola (bottom left) is 15ft high and Pigatelli says its foundation is bleeding into the foundation of his apartment, threatening it
Over the years, Pigatelli said he and Dalios had a good relationship as neighbors, but that dissolved in February 2020 when the financier sent a message to the chairman of the co-op’s board to complain. that the billionaire family kept leaving things in the hallway and that they often left their door. open all day, allowing children to “play and shout in this space”.
“I have to hear them screaming or playing the piano, as if they were my children,” he said in a text, consulted by The Times.
From now on, he avoids his apartment in Manhattan and when he is in New York, he confides in the private club Casa Cipriani.
“They do everything they can to make me feel at home, but nothing can beat my home,” he told The Times.