Noisy neighbor complaints are common in New York. And last month, DNAinfo.com reported that Brick New York was the subject of one: The luxe CrossFit gym, which opened this summer, was being sued by its building condo board over the noise level created by dropping weights and loud music. Then, this week, the site ran a second story saying the gym had also been operating without the Physical Culture Permit required by the state.
According to Brick’s owner Jarett Perelmutter, whose side of the story has not yet been shared, it’s a crazy witch hunt led by a few angry residents. “Are we denying that there was ever a noise or sound issue? No,” he says, explaining that Brick was quick to jump on fixing the issue and rather than working with the gym, the condo board tried to impede its progress every step of the way. “We don’t want to fight; we want to fix.”
We caught up with Perelmutter to get Brick’s point of view:
What did they think was going to be happening in a CrossFit gym?
The lawsuit against Brick centers around noise created by CrossFitters completing their WODs, but Perelmutter says Brick was transparent about what that would look like before they signed the lease. “Our landlord visited our space in Los Angeles and was privy to exactly what we do; and in our lease package we provided videos of what the sport involves,” he says. “Where it comes from is lack of communication between our landlord and the board of directors of the condo units above us.”
State bureaucracy is to blame for the permit delay
Perelmutter says Brick submitted its application for a Physical Culture Establishment permit to the New York State Board of Standards and Appeals long before it opened and that it’s common practice for gyms to operate while waiting the weeks or months it can take for the state to approve it. “By our engineer, we meet all the requirements as far as safety and fire code is concerned. We are literally just in a holding pattern right now.”
They’re taking care of the noise
When Brick opened, the noise and vibration levels were a real problem, Perelmutter admits. But as they tried to make improvements, condo owners prevented them from accessing the units above to conduct testing. The lawsuit then resulted in a court order requiring Brick to reduce the noise levels, which he says was actually great for the gym, since it also required residents to let workers upstairs for testing, which then enabled them to make progress. Perelmutter says that the improvements (like a floating floor in the basement level workout space) have totaled in the “range of six figures” and the gym is now nearly where it needs to be to meet the legal limit.
Finding common ground?
Whether that will make residents happy remains to be seen, since the lawsuit is still moving forward and DNAinfo.com reported that the condo board’s next move is to make sure Brick’s Physical Culture permit doesn’t go through. Perelmutter’s convinced that when it comes down to it, they’re fighting because they’re under the impression that Brick will negatively affect their property values, which he says is bogus. “We bring a high-end positive product to the local community. The bottom line is that whatever that good neighbor is, we want to be it,” he says. “I got into this business to help people wake up every morning and be more vibrant and healthy.” —Lisa Elaine Held