New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community



The Accountant Who Became a Property Manager

Written by Bill Morris on November 29, 2019

Great Neck, Nassau County

Seth Kobay went from a garment factory to a real-estate empire.

The Education of a Floral Park Co-op Board

Written by Bendix Anderson on May 29, 2019

Floral Park, Nassau County

Having the right manager can make capital projects happen.

Bonding Over a Movie Under the Stars

Written by Stewart Wurtzel on January 08, 2019

Island Park, Nassau County

A condo board’s celluloid solution to building a sense of community.

Hate That Dirty Tap Water

Written by Bill Morris on October 13, 2016

Nassau County

A Long Island co-op’s unending battle with discolored, corrosive tap water.

Showroom Shenanigans at Neptune Towers

Written by Tom Soter on November 18, 2015

Nassau County

What happens when you get a furniture showroom store to design your lobby? 


You get a furniture showroom.


That's what happened at the 152-unit Neptune Towers co-op in Nassau County. "The board was looking to save money," recalls Diane Logan, the board representative. "The previous board hired a residential furniture company that's in the area that said they decorated lobbies. They went with this company and basically everything that they picked clashed with the building, both in color and in style."

At Neptune Towers, a 152-unit co-op in Long Beach, the emergency generator failed in the midst of Superstorm Sandy. The generator had been there since the property was built in 1968, and "it was due for a replacement," recalls manager John Wolf, president of Alexander Wolf & Company.

"During Superstorm Sandy, it ran for five or six hours and then the engine ceased," says board president Rich Louis. The co-op had faced "age-related" problems in the past, he adds, involving the replacement of harder-to-find parts, "so we were at the point where we knew we had to replace it." The board hired an engineer to analyze the situation and present it with options. 

Despite all the devastation that superstorm Sandy caused to buildings in its path, one co-op found a positive among all the negatives: the old-fashioned rundown lobby had been flooded with about two feet of water, necessitating an extensive repair and renovation project. The lobby had long been a sore spot for the board. But now, it had to be upgraded — no ifs, ands, or buts.

Before its board could focus on the flooded lobby, however, the 179-unit property, called The Waters Edge at 700 Shore Road in Long Beach, had other concerns: the boiler needed to be replaced; there was more than a million dollars of electrical work required; the garage was filled with sand; the elevators were out; and most of the shareholders were living off-site (they were out for the first six weeks after Sandy hit).

Loans to co-ops or condos are usually fairly easy to place — if the association's financials are in order. One of the areas that lenders examine is the state of the association's arrears. "If you have more than 10 percent arrears, and in some cases more than 5 percent, you've got a problem," says mortgage broker Pat Niland, president of First Funding of New York.

That was the case at Lido Beach Towers, a 184-unit oceanfront condominium in Lido Beach, on Long Island. This luxury property had suffered severe flood damage from superstorm Sandy, and it needed millions of dollars for repairs. It was not the first time the board had needed funds for such work, however.

Co-op and condominium managing agents throughout the region continue to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, even as a new storm is predicted for Wednesday, November 7.

Peter Lehr, the director of management at Kaled, reported that Birchwood on the Green, a 334-unit co-op in Oakdale, Suffolk County, on Long Island, was hard hit by the storm: “The power went out and we have to deal with [the building’s] sewage treatment plant. We were scrambling around to get the power up and running, at least to the sewage treatment plant. They got power back in the complex Friday — that’s three or four days without it — and our environmental team has been monitoring the situation because you’ve got to make sure that the [sewage plant] chemicals are balanced right. [If they’re not,] Suffolk County will come in and violate you.”

Baby, it's cold outside, and your boiler and heating system are going full-blast. That's a big energy cost for your cooperative or condominium. Fortunately, you have options. With supplies of natural gas high and prices low (though higher than last year), it may make sense to switch from oil to gas — or perhaps to to a dual-fuel burner capable of operating with either. In our latest Teachable Moments column, two veteran property managers relate some real-world experiences of how they helped their co-ops and condos pull the trigger on pulling the switch. Did it work? Well, one place is saving $50,000 a year and others are saving six figures. Might be worth the energy to consider.

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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

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