New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

LONG BEACH

How boards can – and cannot – deal with the ultimate in undesirable residents.

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. 

Like many properties in the path of Hurricane Sandy, Neptune Towers, a 152-unit Long Beach co-op, lost power in October 2012. 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- and harder-to-find parts, "so we were at the point where we knew we had to replace it."

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).

Unit-owners were vocal about the loan. "Some didn't want the debt, period," recalls Patrick Niland, president of First Funding of New York, the mortgage broker for the transaction. "There were a series of very intense meetings. At one, there was an exchange that almost came to blows."

 

The  Beachwalk Landing Condominium in Long Beach, on Long Island, was having its share of problems. The oceanfront property — two buildings nearly 30 years old with a total of 72 units — was suffering from wear and needed all sorts of work, ranging from replacing terrace doors and air-conditioning sleeves to repairing the balconies and terraces. While there was little argument that things needed to be done, paying the price tag of $3.75 million for all that capital work was an issue. Some residents simply couldn't afford it to pay their share of the needed assessment. Or could they?

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, FEMA extends the filing deadline for homeowners, including co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners, applying for grants, some nervous neighbors at a co-op jump to conclusions, and a condo-owner has an overhead problem in the form of a heavy cell-phone tower. Plus, for co-op and condo boards, the tax-abatement renewal bill has passed the New York State Senate. Now will it get through the Assembly?

With a new storm threatening to strike the city and its suburbs today, co-op / condo property managers continue to supervise clean-up activities from Hurricane Sandy — even as they prepare for more rain and winds.

Ask the Experts

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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

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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