New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Leading the Way: Board President Phil Fram, 3235 Cambridge Ave.,

A history of cheap fixes. Getting our building to focus on energy and deferred maintenance would be the things that make me feel like I’ve accomplished something. The previous board did all the inexpensive stuff without focusing on some of the more expensive stuff, such as replacing window panes, putting in a French drain in the back of the building, putting in a new heat timer system so we could reduce our gas consumption. We’re looking at a new boiler — because our building is from 1960 and the boiler is still from 1960 — as another way to reduce energy usage.

The rising cost of repairs. The biggest shock over the last couple of years has been the rising cost of repairs, both on the boiler and other issues, like leaks. For the last three years we have under projected those costs dramatically. We’ve also had an increase in our cost for cooking gas, which we’re now starting to fight about with our friendly neighbor Con Edison, although we don’t know if that’s a problem with the meter or not. Luckily enough we were able to cut back on some other things in order to not have to raise our maintenance fees.

Our energy-efficiency grade under Local Law 87 is a D. We had an energy survey done by Bright Power, and they brought up the fact that we’re using way too much cooking gas. The other things we’re facing are balancing the steam system, insulating pipes and overall ventilation. We’ve got a list of projects to look at. And the biggest single project would be either to replace the boiler or install electric heat pumps.

Fines on the horizon. The Climate Mobilization Act is what’s driving us right now. We’ll be OK when the first fines come in 2024, but we’re facing a decision between absorbing fines in 2030 or spending money to avoid them. If we do nothing between now and 2030, our estimated fine would be $54,000 a year. That’s an incentive to do something.


Phil Fram

Board president  (3 years)

3235 Cambridge Ave., Spuvten Duyvil, Bronx

Years of board service: 5

Type: Co-op

Units: 74

Buildings: 1

Year built: 1960

Operating budget: $765,000

Maintenance increase: 2018

Current assessment: No

Property management: Veritas Property Management

Attorney: Smith Buss & Jacobs 

Accountant: Mindy Eisenberg-Stark, CPA

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