On a previously quiet residential block in New York City, a millionaire couple has spent months renovating a $100 million brownstone and digging a pool in its basement, The New York Times reported.
The house in question, which will include a 10- by 60-foot marble-clad basement pool, belongs to a 64-year-old Frenchman named Pierre Bastid, who according to the Times, “made a fortune in energy, and recently dabbled in Alpine hotels, restaurants and pharmaceuticals,” and his wife, a Haitian-American jazz singer named Malou Beauvoir.
The couple knocked down the majority of two brownstones to start work on a mansion that may cost as much as $100 million, according to the Times. It will include “an underground theater and a recording studio, a Jacuzzi and a sauna, free-floating elliptical stairs (whatever that might be) and a wall of sculpture depicting trees, animals and birds of the jungle.”
While constant construction is an unfortunate fact of life in New York City, the noise, vibrations, and dust from the millionaire couple’s project have wreaked havoc on the neighborhood for the past year, the Times reported, with some neighbors forced to wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones in their own homes and others to move away.
Read more:I spent a day on NYC’s Billionaires’ Row. Here’s your ultimate guide to one of the city’s glitziest streets, which borders Central Park and is home to the most expensive apartment ever sold in the US.
“‘Noise’ isn’t strong enough,” one resident said of the renovations. “‘Mindless hell and chaos’ would be better.”
Deborah Brown, who’s lived on the block since 1969, told the Times she partially blames the loud construction for her new $5,000 hearing aids. She now wears her $400 Bose Noise Blockers headphones while at home in her apartment.
Others have gone so far as to move out of their homes.
Thirty-six-year-old Gabrielle Fink, whose family has a history of pulmonary problems, told the Times the ongoing renovations prompted her to spend $5,000 she couldn’t really afford to move after eight years in her building because “her nerves were frazzled.”
And it’s not just the human residents who are affected. One neighbor said she’s had to give her miniature poodle Trazodone, a tranquilizer, to calm down the pup amid the racket.
For some, the construction has become a symbol for New York City’s ultra-wealthy trampling on everyone else.
“This is about how the whims of a plutocrat can upend the lives of an entire city block, challenging the culture and the well-being of the people who live there,” David Margolick, who lives a block away, wrote in the Times. “It’s about coming to terms with everyday existence in New York, where the rich run rampant and the rest of us have to deal with it.”
In a statement obtained by the Times, Beauvoir said she and Bastid “deeply regret the inconvenience caused to the neighborhood, despite our efforts to limit it from the onset. Unfortunately, we have all experienced the disagreeable aspects of construction and the unpredictability of the process.”
Business Insider reached out to Beauvoir for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.