It’s My Xanadu! So There!

In Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn a homeowner is making his “dream home” everyone’s nightmare. Michael Tropp, a man with an overabundance of time, money and ego, is apparently building his own version of Xanadu…right into and over the backyards and driveways of adjacent properties.

Tropp began his building frenzy eight years ago when he connected two modest homes to form one modest mansion for himself. Since then, the construction has been nonstop with various improvements and additions, including a brick walkway (between two formerly separate houses) and a wooden-decked, above-ground swimming pool (of course, extending across his neighbor’s backyard).

“His back deck is sitting right above my fence,” said Susan Yellin, who lives behind Tropp on Oxford Street. Yellin added that Tropp even tore down her backyard’s fence to put up his own without permission.

“It’s as if no one can stop him,” said [Cy] Schoenfeld, whose backyard now faces Tropp’s construction site and a sign warning that he has the lot under 24-hour surveillance.

While Tropp’s “Manhattan Beach McMansion” (as it’s now referred to) is ever-growing, so are the fines imposed on him by the New York City Department of Buildings. He has currently racked up over $100,000 in fines for illegal construction and other violations; most of the fines remain unpaid while his expansionist activities go on unceasingly. In fact, even now that he’s facing possible criminal and civil actions, Tropp’s Xanadu remains an unrelenting work in progress.

(originally published: 02/05/11…but the fun continues.)

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