New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Legal Learning Lab: Future

Commercial Income


Navigating the Commercial Tenant Conundrum

Andrew Brucker, Partner, Armstrong Teasdale

Host: Carol J. Ott

COVID-19 has affected commercial space in New York big time. But even before the pandemic, co-ops and condos had unique problems when renting commercial space. How to think about commercial space and who might occupy it in the future is the focus of this session.

•          Are the general concepts of renting commercial space the same for a co-op/condo as they are for a commercial landlord?

•          What are the main areas of concern that a board should pay attention to when renting commercial space?

•          For those buildings with vacant commercial space, what will the future look like?



Time to Partner Up With Commercial Tenants?

Howard Schechter, Partner, Armstrong Teasdale

Host: Carol J. Ott

Pre-COVID-19, co-ops and condos that had commercial tenants often saw a nice boost to their bottom line. For many, that boost has been wiped out, and boards are asking: What now? In this session you’ll learn if this is the time to partner with your commercial tenant.

•          What does partnering mean?

•          How should a board evaluate its commercial rent situation?

•          Moving forward, how do you make the correct business decision?



Empty Pockets: How to Find Lost Income

Allen Brill, Partner, Brill & Meisel

Host: Carol J. Ott

The co-op says to its commercial tenant, “Look, if I don’t get money, I can’t pay my bills.” And the tenant says, “If I don’t have customers, I don’t have the money to pay you.” This is the pandemic stand-off for many boards with commercial tenants. How boards are pushing through to find money to pay their building’s bills is the focus of this session.

•          What are your clients with commercial space facing as the pandemic continues?

•          If leases can be renegotiated, what are some of the more common options, and how do these work?

•          In the interim, what can a co-op or condo do to stay solvent?

•          How do you see the landscape for commercial space in the future?



Co-op Turnaround


It Takes a New Team

Matthew Goldberg, Partner, Hankin & Mazel

Host: Bill Morris

Stories of tortured co-ops can have happy endings. One such story unfolded recently in Corona, Queens, where a co-op facing foreclosure managed to turn itself around. This session will reveal how the board did it.

•          Is it wise to keep monthly maintenance artificially low?

•          What are the benefits of a transfusion of new blood on the board — and a new management company?

•          How do you educate shareholders so they understand the need for a maintenance increase to balance the budget?



Looking Ahead


Building Aesthetics: The COVID-19 Impact

Dale J. Degenshein, Partner, Armstrong Teasdale

Host: Carol J. Ott

Many boards are worried about their building’s economics and the value of apartments. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, upping curbside appeal may be one way of stabilizing, and even enhancing, value. This session addresses the question: Is now the right time to do this?

•          It’s a down market. Why would upgrading public spaces make sense?

•          How has the pandemic affected the upgrade process?

•          Do boards need to be concerned about the supplies used in the upgrade?



A Silver Lining to These Dark Times

Steven Sladkus, Partner, Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas

Host: Bill Morris

Everyone talks about the trauma, expense and inconvenience brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s rare to hear about the positive things that have emerged in co-ops and condominiums. This session focuses on the silver lining to these stormy times.

•          What has been the typical reaction when a resident contracts COVID-19?

•          Are boards more willing to work with residents and commercial tenants who fall into arrears?

•          The big question: Will this compassion live on?



Prepare Now for a Chilly Economic Future

Theresa Racht, Partner, Theresa Racht, Esq.

Host: Bill Morris

The coronavirus crisis has taxed co-op and condo boards and their management companies in unimaginable ways, but the full economic fallout has not yet been felt. In this session, you’ll learn ways to prepare for an uncertain — but certainly chilly — economic future.

•          Should boards be tough or forgiving on collecting arrears?

•          With so many people leaving the city, is it time to review sublet policies?

•          Should boards strive to hold on to commercial tenants, even if they’re having trouble paying their rent?



Crystal Ball: What Lies Ahead

Stewart Wurtzel, Partner, Tane Waterman & Wurtzel

Host: Carol J. Ott

Coping with the tumult of the pandemic year has been challenging, but 2021 is just around the corner, and boards need to prepare. The question is: Where to start? This session focuses on some key areas that will affect your bottom line in the future.

•          What are some of the major budget areas that might cause concern?

•          What effect will litigation — or the lack thereof — have on a building’s financial health?

•          What kinds of communication to residents will be necessary?

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