Kathryn Farrell in Bricks & Bucks on November 6, 2013
That sense of unity came in handy recently, when the board decided to replace the railings on the building roof, and renovate the terraces at the front and back of the complex’s two buildings.
The railing replacement was not a surprise to the board. According to Dowling, the railings — a safety feature — had not been replaced ever since the building was constructed. Their poor condition was causing water to infiltrate the apartments. “They were separating from the cement [of the roof],” she explains. “We needed to seal off the water.”
According to project manager Albelisa Kemp of Rand Engineering & Architecture, the building also needed to install a concrete band running along the perimeter of the roof, where the new railings will be attached. New anchors will be incorporated into the concrete deck to serve the safety tie-off lines for any future repair programs. Kemp says this was necessary “due to the roof being flat without parapet walls.”
As for the terrace renovation, the board knew that a Local Law 11 inspection of the exterior façade was due by 2015. It decided to handle this project at the same time as the railing overhaul, thereby reducing disruption to shareholders.
However, work on the terraces became more complicated when asbestos was found in one of the balconies. In addition, they discovered that some of the terraces had lead paint. “We lost several weeks [in trying] to determine how we were going to handle it,” says Dowling. The entire project, scheduled for completion in November, is now estimated to be done in May of 2014.
Despite the setbacks, there has been little grousing from shareholders. In fact, an easygoing and tolerant community atmosphere is the norm at Briar Oaks, says Dowling, who notes people of various religions and cultures reside there.
“There are a number of committees that look after different events,” she says. “They even plan parties for the children for the holidays.”
Project start date: May 2013
Estimated completion date: May 2014.
● Replaced railings on two building roofs
● Installed concrete bands along roof perimeter
● Renovated five terraces
Estimated Market Value: $8,609,000
Assessed Value: $3,874,050
● Albelisa Kemp, project manager, and Jamey Ehrman, project engineer, Rand Engineering & Architecture
● Marshall Kanter and David Guerrero, Garthchester Realty
● Mary Ann Dowling, board president
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