New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

BRICKS & BUCKS

BUILDING PROJECTS IN NYC CO-OPS/CONDOS

Landscaping and Drainage: 36 Hamilton Avenue

St. George, Staten Island, 36 Hamilton Avenue

Landscaping and Drainage: 36 Hamilton Avenue

The founder of of Sagona Landscaping recommended a new fencing contractor. He also proposed replacing the fences that were on level ground with trees and hedges, leaving it only along the steep slope where it provides a handrail for pedestrians, and using pavers instead of a wall to re-grade the slope for proper drainage.

“Tom Sagona was excellent,” Civille says. “We have not had a flood, not had any drainage problems. The only rainwater in the dirt is what’s coming from the sky. It’s exquisite.”

NEIGHBORHOOD

St. George, Staten Island

VALUE

RECENT SALES

9/1/11: $99,000

8/17/11: $75,400

3/18/11: $155,000

PROPERTY TAXES

Estimated Market Value: $2,594,000

2011/12 Taxable Value: $886,602

THE VISION THING

Maria Civille, who became president four years ago after previously serving as vice president, says an influx of working professionals — herself among them — is infusing her co-op with youth and diversity. “It’s a seven-minute walk to the ferry,” she says. “Fifty percent of people in this building don’t have cars... At some point, hopefully, St. George is going to be like Hoboken. We have to keep up with the times.”

The board has traced the same arc, with an entrenched board passing the torch to a younger generation. Civille’s hands-on style reflects this renewed vigor. “I don’t know how anybody else runs their joint, but I put a face on this corporation,” she says. “I get involved with every contractor. Nobody comes in here without talking to me and making sure we’re on the same page.”

With some staff changes and a small “capital improvement assessment” collected 10 months out of the year, the board has built a healthy reserve and paid for improvements — including new windows, new sidewalks, repainted fire escapes, and an upcoming lobby renovation — out of its operating budget without raising maintenance. Says Civille: “The only thing I’m using reserves for is our Local Law 11 work [this year]. We already have an engineer on board. We have a plan now.”

BUILDING INVESTMENT

PROJECT

Cost: $38,000

  • Removed existing fence and installed new wrought-iron fence along one side of property.
  • Improved runoff drainage by enlarging an existing drain and re-grading part of the property with pavers.
  • Replaced sections of fence with landscaping, including new trees and hedges.

CONTRIBUTORS

Tom Sagona, Sagona Landscaping
Maria Civille, board president
Elliot Katz, Mark Greenberg Real Estate

Begun in July 2011 and completed in September.

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