New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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BRICKS & BUCKS

BUILDING PROJECTS IN NYC CO-OPS/CONDOS

Uplifting Changes Afoot at Brooklyn Heights Co-op

Tom Soter in Bricks & Bucks on June 19, 2013

Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, 105 Montague Street

105 Montague Street
June 19, 2013

Over the years, the building has gone through a variety of incarnations: After catering to businessmen in the 1890s and early 20th century, it eventually serviced a different clientele when the property was reborn in the 1950s as a welfare hotel.  

The building finally got an elevator in 1980, when the owner converted 105 Montague into a cooperative. To increase its curb appeal, the sponsor gut-rehabbed the structure, leaving fireplaces in some units but practically nothing else from the original hotel.

Earlier this year, the eight-member board decided that the constant breakdowns had gone on long enough. "We'd been told that the normal lifespan for an elevator is 25 to 30 years. Well, we've reached that," she notes.

The board interviewed three different elevator installation and service companies, including its current contractor, and opted for Prestige, "because their price was close to $100,000 less than our current elevator maintenance company, and $30,000 less than the third company. We're getting new motors - the works. Everything but the actual cab is being replaced."

The deciding factor in choosing Prestige? "They were able to give us a shorter schedule by working longer days in two shifts over 15 hours per day and a six-day workweek, which is important because the elevator will be shut down."

The six-week project, scheduled to start July 8, would have been done in the winter months, says Kelly, who notes that she "didn't want to walk up and down the stairs in 90-degree heat." But a number of the shareholders - mostly young professionals with a few original residents - have summer homes, to which they can escape during the month-and-a-half construction period. A number of top-floor residents will either do that or stay with relatives or friends.

The money to fund the $165,000 job would normally have come from an assessment, but instead the co-op refinanced its underlying mortgage and collected enough extra funding to carry out an unofficial long-range plan. "The elevator has been on the back burner for a long time," Kelly says. "Next year we'll probably replace the boiler, and after that we'll do some Local Law 11 work. Changes have to happen."

PROJECT  

Full elevator rehabilitation, replacing everything except existing cab

INVESTMENT

$165,000

PARTICIPANTS

Prestige Elevator

Brandon Wechsler, Goldin Management, managing agent

Melissa Kelly, board secretary

VALUE

PROPERTY TAXES

Estimated Market Value: $3,749,000

Assessed Value: $1,557,670

RECENT APARTMENT SALES

Date: 4/12/2013
Sales Price: $890,000

Date: 4/1/2013
Sales Price: $876,500

Date: 11/14/2012
Sales Price: $350,000

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