New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
Tom Soter in Bricks & Bucks
To do the job, the co-op refinanced its underlying mortgage for $25 million, and used a portion of that to pay for the property-wide window replacement, which cost between $1.4 and $1.5 million, Day reports. An engineer, Ulysses Arteaga, was hired to write the specs, and after a sealed bid process, Pella Windows was hired as the contractor.
The windows were probably the most problematic area the co-op encountered. "We didn't know what was behind the walls until we took the old windows out," explains the president. "We did an exploratory project for the windows in different areas of the development prior to doing the entire place just to see what we were getting ourselves into, and lo and behold, we came up with some rather startling disclosures on things, and we had to basically readdress how we were going to do the windows as far as framing and everything else went."
The problem was that the old framing could not hold the new windows in place and almost every window had to be reframed, essentially making each one a customized job.
"It took about a year and a half," Day says. "It was a long process." Besides the painstakingly slow work to custom-fit the windows, the board also had to cope with access to the units, a scheduling nightmare involving 490 apartments. "It was inconvenient for some people, you make appointments, and then you have weather issues." The work began in July 2009 and ended in October 2010.
After that, the co-op turned to its second problem area: the roofs. "The roofs were in pretty bad shape. We probably spent about $250,000 to $300,000 a year on band-aid repairs," Day notes, "and we said, 'This is just ridiculous.' So again, we got several bids in, and we did the entire roof project in less than one year, replacing all the roofs and all the leaders and gutters and downspouts. That was a huge project. It went extremely well. We had very few complaints." The work on the 23 roofs (and the garages) was performed by J.C. Roofing. Work began in April 2013 and finished in November of that year. The cost was $1.5 million.
The final project is the conversion of the six heating plants from oil to natural gas (dual fuel). It also includes an independent hot water system so that during the summer months, Day says, "we can completely take the boilers offline, do whatever maintenance and upkeep is responsible at that point in time, and still have the domestic hot water for all the units at a lesser BTU cost." The contractors, selected following a sealed bid process, are Extreme Heating and Plumbing and Efficient Combustion and Cooling. Work began in 2012 and is still underway. The estimated cost is $1.5 million.
The property's on-site manager supervised all the work, with the roofing contracts all done under industry-standard contracting agreements. There was an engineer on-site in case there were any surprises. Construction management was handled by the Dasco Group. Estates at Bayside is expecting substantial abatements from New York City under the J-51 housing subsidy program.
In the end, the hard work has paid off. Observes Day: "On the basis of this winter and how horrendously cold it was, we are reaping the rewards of having very tight windows and very tight roofs. Since the roofs have been put in, we haven't spent one penny on repairs nor do I expect to for several years.
Steve Day, board president
Ulysses Arteaga, engineer
Pella Windows, contractor
JC Roofing, contractor
Extreme Heating and Plumbing, contractor
Efficient Combustion and Cooling, contractor
Dasco Group, construction management company
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