Tom Soter; additional reporting by Jason Carpenter in Bricks & Bucks on September 17, 2014
"We knew the cars on the bottom level were getting messed up every time it rained," observes Rita Cody, president of the seven-person board. "The top level is metal underneath it and it was rusting, so when it rained, the rust would get on the cars. We did repairs before that but nothing this expensive and it just wasn't holding."
Management was firm in this situation. "It's been 20 years since the last time they've done anything," Chrzanowski notes. "The garage was just very unsafe at this point, and it needs to be done."
"The management company got an engineer and they came in and started looking at the terraces, too; some of the cement was falling off," admits Cody. As it turned out, "the terraces [were] in worse shape than the garage, so we said, 'Oh boy, this is stuff you can't put off.' We [had] already [done] our roof, and now we have to clean up the fire escapes, get the rust off of them, and paint them up again."
The board considered more spot repairs, but, Chrzanowski says, "You're still talking about a full replacement down the road anyway. I said, 'Do it now. Get it over with. It's a big project.'"
In the interim, the building's residents will be using the parking lots of nearby churches to house their cars. To prep for the upcoming work, the pool was closed this past summer. And most of the residents will temporarily lose their terraces, since the structures will probably be taken down this fall and replaced by new ones in the spring.
One factor that made doing three at once palatable to the board was that one contractor, Xinos Construction, would handle them all. "This made it much less complex," says Chrzanowski. Nonetheless, it will still be a juggling act of sorts, with 15 to 20 workers swarming over the property, working in three areas at once.
The coordination on the projects, which begin in mid-September, is helped by the presence of a veteran superintendent (20 years), staff (up to 15 years), and Chrzanowski himself. The agent has been coordinating "multiple jobs like this" since 1978. (Stillman will probably also provide a construction manager to help out.) "Regardless, it is going to be a headache," he admits. "It's going to be a real challenge."
Project start date: September 2014
Estimated end date: October 2015
● Renovate bilevel garage
● Replace all balconies
● Refurbish swimming pool
Darek Chrzanowski, property manager, Stillman Management
Rita Cody, board vice president
Photo by Jason Carpenter. Click to enlarge.
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