As a divorce lawyer, Julie Hyman deals with non-stop acrimony.

“I have a high tolerance for crap,” she said. “I do high-conflict divorces and custody battles for a living.”

When it comes to a certain Bronx apartment she owns, however, she has reached her breaking point.

Last week, Hyman ran a full-page ad in the Riverdale Press announcing the listing of one of the three units she owns in the luxury condo building known as Solaria Riverdale.

This “money pit” unit — after months of surprise renovations costing $250,000 — is now for sale asking $1.18 million. Monthly fees are in the $1,400s. It has been fully repaired with high-end everything. It can also be rented for $10,000 a month furnished, with $135,000 worth of furniture.

“I feel like I am being thugged,” Hyman said. “I am in an abusive relationship with my building.”

Hyman, 52, has lived and worked in the building since it opened in 2008. She grew up in Riverdale, attending local schools and working as a child model. (Her Underoos commercial is on her website.) She later attended Barnard College and Cardozo Law School.

In the early days of Solaria Riverdale — known for its rooftop observatory featuring a Meade telescope — Hyman bought two two-bedroom units for around $1 million each, one atop the other. The 1,450-square-foot apartments are used by her and her elderly parents, as well as her beloved pets.

Hyman has been a resident at the 2008-opened Solaria Riverdale for some time, having purchased two units there initially for about $1 million apiece. Brian Zak/NY Post
Solaria Riverdale is known for its glassy exterior. Brian Zak/NY Post
Now, after a lengthy saga with water leaks and construction drama, she’s looking to part ways with one of her units in the building. Brian Zak/NY Post

Until 2018, Hyman’s life there was harmonious. Then, two refrigerator leaks — involving an ice maker and a faulty water line, with tubing disconnecting from the wall valve — caused flooding and mold in one unit.

Repairs done by the building’s approved contractor worsened the damage, Hyman said. Water also leaked into three units below. So great was the destruction that Hyman’s unit required a gut renovation.

Hyman sued the building, the contractor, the appliance maker and her insurance company. The battle took five years to resolve, according to court papers. Such massive disruption “affects the functionality of your life,” Hyman said.

The disruption didn’t end there.

A year ago, Hyman bought a two-bedroom unit on the second floor, which was being used as a model apartment and office for the developer. The purchase price was $799,000. It’s this unit that’s now for sale.

She wished to expand her business, offering additional legal services such as wills, trusts and health-care proxies.

“Very few lawyers choose to be Bronx lawyers,” she said, noting the scarcity of legal services available in her native borough. “I prefer Bronx cases over the spoiled rich-people cases in Manhattan. I prefer to represent the underdogs.”

Hyman purchased this unit to use as a workspace, but a number of issues emerged. Julie Hyman
Hyman also needed a gut renovation for her upper-floor home.

She aimed to share the office suite, and its costs, with another lawyer or two.

Her purchase contract “clearly stated that everything was to be in working order,” she said.

Instead, everything went wrong. The PTAC heating and cooling units leaked. So did the dishwasher, making the floor buckle. Fixing the floor meant removing the appliances and cabinets.

Among the issues in this now-for-sale flat: a leaky dishwasher that made the floor buckle. Julie Hyman
The kitchen as it appears today. Moda Realty
Another headache: sewage leaking into her bathroom, and even into the building lobby, from alleged baby wipe clogs. Julie Hyman

Sewage also entered the bathroom, and more sewage leaked through to the lobby, allegedly from upstairs pipes clogged with baby wipes.

“Attempts to rectify the issues only seemed to compound the problems, leading to extensive renovations and unexpected expenses,” Hyman said.

Meanwhile, she learned that she ultimately couldn’t rent out part of the unit to another lawyer.

“The Board and Management have reviewed your request to sublease a portion of your unit for commercial use,” according to an e-mail from the property manager last fall.

“Unfortunately, consistent with the building’s by-laws, no portion of a residential unit (other than the entire residential unit) may be sold, conveyed, leased or subleased.” The zoning district, R7A, also disallows commercial uses.

Hyman said she would comply with the rules, though she feels misled.

“I was upfront that I intended to use that space for a home-office expansion,” she told The Post. “There are many home offices in the building. If I am allowed to have a home office, why am I not allowed to share it? I was not aware that I could not rent out a room.”

Hyman and one of her pets when the now-listed home was undergoing its renovation. Julie Hyman
The unit now for sale has undergone a gut renovation, with stylish results. Moda Realty
The apartment comes accented with floor-to-ceiling windows. Moda Realty
The second-floor apartment has two bedrooms. Moda Realty

An agent for the developer, the ARC Companies, wrote in an e-mail, “We don’t comment on our buyers or residents of Solaria. . . We do not undertake renovations for buyers.” Representatives of the condo board declined to comment.

After a year of frustration, “my NO button went off,” Hyman said. She plans to keep her upstairs office as a solo legal practitioner but has scuttled her plans for the office suite.

Instead, this for-sale unit is ready for its next owner — and they stand to get a nice piece of gut-renovated property, with new plumbing, electrical outlets and appliances.

“This apartment has undergone an extensive and thoughtful renovation, sparing no detail in its transformation,” says the listing, held by Daisy Rivera of Moda Realty.

“While my experience may have been akin to ‘The Money Pit,’” Hyman’s Riverdale Press ad says, “I’m confident that this property offers a unique opportunity for those seeking upscale living without the headaches.”

Read More