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Projects Around Town: How a Six-Building Complex Stopped Its Leaks

Jason Carpenter in Bricks & Bucks on May 7, 2014

Northridge Co-op Section 3, 3220-3242 89th Street, Jackson Heights

Northridge Cooperative Section 3, Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City
May 7, 2014

The board selected MJM+A Architects to find the source of the leaks and design a way to ameliorate it. Ryan Scipione, a partner in the firm, says they discovered that when the nearly 50-year-old complex at 3220-3242 89th Street was constructed, the builders spaced the bricks out significantly, so there were huge openings in the wall behind them.

In some of the buildings, the façades were torn off and vapor-permeable membranes were added on the facer-block walls to prevent future moisture infiltration. A steel framework called "a relieving angle" was installed behind some of the façades to support the weight and expansion of the bricks.

Some of the draftier windows had to be replaced, and an advanced self-healing membrane was installed around the new windows that was able to resist punctures made by screws or other construction tools. A garage roof was demolished and replaced with a new one. The architects also developed drainage plans.

Wednesday Meetings

The 12-member board was very hands-on, especially the president and the vice president, says the co-op's property manager, Pamela DeLorme, president of Delkap Management. The duo met with architects and the contractor every Wednesday to review the job's progress.

For these meetings, Macaluso posted diagrams of the work areas in the Northridge 3 management office. He would indicate on these what was finished and what conditions were discovered when the bricks were removed. This made everything very clear to the board.

The project, which cost $1.4 million, funded through the reserves, took seven months to finish. "Everyone seems very happy with the work," says co-op  board president Bernard Smyth. "And, even with the weather we're having, the people who were reporting leaks aren't reporting them anymore. So I'm happy, too."


Project start date: June 2013
Project end date: January 2014


● Renewing brick façades
● Demolishing and replacing garage roof
● Replacing some windows


$1.4 million


Estimated market value: $19,067,000
Assessed value: $7,343,730


● Michael Macaluso and Ryan Scipione of MJM+A Architects
● Bernard Smyth, board president
● Pamela DeLorme of Delkap Management
● KNS Building Restoration
● Johns Manville for insulation and roofing


● 2/19/2014: $85,000
● 2/18/2014: $160,000
● 1/27/2014: $165,000


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Photo courtesy Delkap Management. Click to enlarge.

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