New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
From building repairs and maintenance, energy upgrades, insurance, lobby redesigns, accounting and financing - the challenges facing co-op and condominium board directors are endless. In this series, Habitat Magazine editors interview New York City experts to learn how problems have been solved at their client co-op and condo buildings. We take a deep dive into the issues being confronted, the possibilities for solutions, the costs, the challenges, and the outcomes.
It takes a motivated board — or at least one motivated board member — to jump-start energy reduction projects. That describes a Bronx board president, who not only wanted to improve his building’s energy performance but also wanted to reduce the operating costs for shareholders. Thomas Morrison, director of energy management at the engineering firm En-Power Group, describes how this mission was accomplished in an interview with Bill Morris of Habitat Magazine.
Unforeseen problems, delays, cost overruns — elevator repair jobs rarely go off without a hitch, which can cause big dents in a building's repair budget. In today’s episode, Donald Gelestino, president at Champion Elevator, shares two cautionary tales that offer the same lesson: When tackling elevator repairs, you’d be wise to expect the unexpected. Donald Gelestino is interviewed by Paula Chin of Habitat Magazine.
When it comes to managing co-op and condo finances, boards can’t afford to be complacent — yet, some are. Take the case of one New York co-op, which found itself owing $300,000 in real estate taxes and water and sewage bills due to negligent management. Avi Zanjirian, a partner at the accounting firm Czarnowski & Beer, is here to tell the cautionary tale. Avi Zanjirian is interviewed by Paula Chin of Habitat Magazine.
When a condo is governed by a board with competing interests, getting things fixed can be slow going. At one such Manhattan condo ongoing water infiltration from a public plaza was compromising structural integrity of a below grade parking garage. Figuring out what needed to be fixed and getting the approval from owners with different interests and involvement, well, that’s not an easy task. Kevin Bone, principal at Bone/Levine Architects, tells the story of what needed to be done and how, ultimately, all agreed to do it. Kevin Bone is interviewed by Carol Ott of Habitat Magazine.
Between high inflation, rising expenses, and the lingering effects of the pandemic, it’s never been harder for co-op and condos to balance their budgets. Carl Cesarano, principal at the accounting firm Cesarano & Khan, explains how boards can navigate today’s challenging landscape — whether negotiating commercial leases, refinancing the mortgage or trimming expenses — by evaluating and readjusting their options in real time. Carl Cesarano is interviewed by Paula Chin of Habitat Magazine.
There are countless buildings in New York City that owe their elegance to terracotta. Caring for it, though, has grown more complicated and expensive in the past few years. Richard Koenigsberg, the founder and president of Koenigsberg Engineering, explains why this is so and what to expect if terracotta is on your building. Richard Koenigsberg is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.
It’s much more difficult for co-ops and condos to get a good general liability insurance policy today. There are fewer carriers, coverage is shrinking and price tags are growing. In this episode, Jonathan Steward, vice president at OSA Insurance Brokerage Services, explains what co-op and condo boards need to do to find an affordable carrier in this challenging market. Jonathan Steward is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.
When apartment residents have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for hot water to reach them, it’s not only a nightmare but it’s wasteful and expensive. In this episode, Peter Varsalona, principal and vice president at RAND Engineering & Architecture, outlines the fix at one Manhattan condo to recirculate the water at a faster pace and cut costs in doing so. Peter Varsalona is interviewed by Habitat's Carol Ott.
A Westchester condo thought it had an insurance deal from a new carrier. But after the carrier inspected the property, it decided the physical conditions weren’t up to snuff and it wanted to walk, leaving the condo in the lurch. In this episode, Jason Schiciano, co-president at Levitt-Fuirst Insurance, explains what happened next, and offers some words of insurance wisdom to others who might be facing the same situation. Jason Schiciano is interviewed by Bill Morris for Habitat Magazine.
Detecting the source of water leaks on building roofs and exterior walls can sometimes be more difficult than fixing the problem. But Akaash Kancharla, chief executive at aRoboticsCompany, has some good news for co-ops and condos — a new generation of sophisticated robotic machines that can pinpoint air and water leaks in buildings for far less than paying humans to do the job. Akaash Kancharla is interviewed by Carol Ott for Habitat Magazine.
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Co-op and condo board business broken down into bite-sized bits - 2 stories each week. Read now on all digital devices.
Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments
Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise
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