Christo Wants to Put Wraps on Neighbor

     MANHATTAN (CN) - Christo, who wrapped the German Parliament in aluminum foil and put tutus around islands, has sued his next-door neighbor, claiming the 433 Broadway Co. is endangering him and the public by erecting a 6-story building so unsafely it caused his home-studio to "shift one inch east toward 433 Broadway."
     Christo is sole owner of plaintiff Dapaul Realty Corp., which owns the building at 48 Howard Street where Christo has lived since the 1960s. Christo's building is "adjoining and contiguous" to defendant 433 Broadway, according to the complaint in New York County Court.
     433 Broadway has a permit to build a 6-story, mixed-use building. It began construction in spring 2008 and continued "intermittently" through March this year, when work became continuous, Christo says.
     He claims that since March, 433 Broadway "has caused and/or permitted gravely unsafe construction activity to take place at 433 Broadway, which has affected Christo's ability to safely use and enjoy his home and studio, and has put the safety of Christo, his guests, and the general public in jeopardy."
     He claims the defendant has not provided "proper protection for 48 Howard," including controlling runoff and erosion.
     Most alarmingly, Christo says, on March 26 the Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order to 433 Broadway "for failure to safeguard all persons and property because 48 Howard shifted one inch east toward 433 Broadway during excavation".
     Christo claims 433 Broadway also deviated from its approved construction plan, and that the problems "are symptomatic of a much larger problem [which] is defendant and his contractors are not performing, and will continue to fail to perform, the work on the project in a safe and workmanlike manner ..."
     He wants work stopped until the building is fully shored and braced to its full height.
     He is represented by Jessica Rothman with Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti.