NYC Billionaire Illegally Creates Own Parking Spot, Has Neighbors Towed

Well-known hedge fund manager Noam Gottesman had neighbors towed for parking in front of his falsified "driveway."

Noam Gottesman 777 Washington St Parking Snafu July 2019
Twitter - Peter Went

Parking can become a highly contested and testy subject. There's a litany of events and police records to back up that assertion. A recent event, however, takes it to new heights after billionaire hedge fund tycoon Noam Gottesman falsified a “no parking zone” all so he can have his own curbside spot in front of his $35 million-dollar apartment in New York City. Not only has it pissed off his neighbors, but it’s brought the attention of city officials.

The controversy started when Eyal Levin had his car mysteriously impounded on May 23 of this year after parking in front of 777 Washington Street near the intersection with Jane Street in NYC. After recovering his vehicle for the hefty sum of $201 from a tow lot in Maspeth, Queens, Levin found that he was cited for illegally parking in front of an “active driveway.” 

However, the spot Levin parked in isn’t an active driveway, despite the building’s appearance and the sidewalk where Levin parked is shaped as if it’s an active driveway. But according to city officials who got involved following complaints filed by Levin, the sidewalk was apparently modified without any sort of legal permission through the city, prompting further investigation.

The Department of Buildings' investigation, spurred on by Levin further research into the parking citation that led to the impound, found that Gottesman illegally modified the sidewalk without the necessary permits while developing his property, according to The New York Daily News, who spoke to the DOB.

“The plans for the project do not show any curb cuts and the owner did not apply for an accessory-use curb cut during this process, as required. In addition, the building’s current certificate of occupancy does not reflect a legal curb cut,” DOB spokesman Joe Soldevere told the local news outlet. Despite the potential legal pressure from the city, that hasn’t stopped Gottesman’s building keepers from threatening neighbors who attempt to park in the same spot. Gottesman even reportedly posted “No Parking” and “Active Driveway” signs on the building fascia.

“It’s all a scam," Levin told The NY Daily News, "He doesn’t have a freaking driveway." Levin added, "He just has fake signs on it. He knows it, everybody knows it and still they try to intimidate everybody about it. I found it to be outrageous. It’s outrageous to put that sign up when you have this huge mansion. I say to them show me a driveway and I will move my car but don’t insult me with your lies. And I tell them do not touch my car because I am legally parked.”

Gottesman reportedly purchased his West Village dwelling in 2008 for the cool amount of $35 million. He then built his home from the ground up, customizing it to his tastes and apparently illegally modifying the sidewalk during the process. 

This is certainly a new spin on the ole "lawn chair" placeholder move.