Out of step. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the wave of package deliveries into a tsunami, the board and property manager of the 151-unit Evans View condominium at 303 E. 60th St. realized they needed to upgrade their lobby.
“The lobby itself was looking dated, but deliveries were becoming a crisis,” says the manager, Donal Bergin, the vice president at Allied Partners. “You can no longer operate a residential building in New York City without an adequate package room, and ours was a small closet.”
Style update. The condo board brought in Forbes Ergas Design, which had redone hallways in the 40-story tower about eight years ago. Karen Jack, a co-owner and senior designer at Forbes Ergas, faced a dual challenge: improve the system for handling packages and modernize the space while retaining the original multi-hued granite floor. “They wanted to go a more modern route,” Jack says. “But since they didn’t have the budget to replace the original floor, we had to modernize the space through light fixtures and materials.”
Tech upgrade. Jack also had to get rid of the old equipment in the concierge’s desk and find a way to incorporate new equipment. After meeting with the board president, the concierge and Bergin, Jack designed the concierge’s desk with wells to accommodate monitors for security cameras and the BuildingLink system. She also added drawers that could handle the KeyLink box, an electronic security system that prevents unauthorized access to keys and provides an audit trail of all key activities.
Bargain price. Jack then surveyed the space and drew up a new floor plan. “We took over the space behind the concierge’s desk and created a spacious 16-by-11-foot room just for packages,” Jack says. The wooden cladding on a support pillar in the lobby was replaced with porcelain slabs, the walls covered with new woven fabric, and four new custom light fixtures were installed. The redo, which concluded last spring, came in behind schedule, but it was under the $450,000 budget, which was paid through an assessment.
“The residents are delighted by the lobby,” Bergin says, “especially the package room, because that situation was getting out of control.”