New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

SUNSET PARK

Considering the hefty price tags on some of the ultra-luxury units in super posh condos being constructed all over the city, you kind of expect a lot of bang for your buck — if you're one of the lucky buyers, of course. And developers are looking to deliver just that. Take one of the apartments planned for 53W53, an ultra-luxury residential tower being built next to the Museum of Modern Art. Well, take all of the apartments in that building. Each apartment's layout needs to accommodate the unusual architectural elements of the asymmetrical, 1,050-foot tower designed by Jean Nouvel, reports The New York Times, which will "taper as it rises like a shard of glass." So how do you figure out how the pieces of this very expensive puzzle will ultimately fit together? In the case of 53W53, you build a full-scale mock-up of a $10 million apartment in an industrial section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and start working out all the kinks. The Times explains that the prototype functions as a lab of sorts, so developers can troubleshoot "most of the challenges posed by the building’s unusual design." How cool is that? 

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, there's no bigger news for boards than of the legislative mess in Albany that will send co-op and condo property taxes sky-high unless Gov. Cuomo and company take action. On the Upper East Side, a co-op board sues a sponsor that won't let go even after 24 years, a doorman charges a management company with allowing racist rants, there's power from the sun in Sunset Park and much more.

Set on a quiet street opposite Sunset Park in Brooklyn, the 1920s vintage Sun Garden Homes, a 70-unit, working-class co-op, installed a photovoltaic solar-power system in November on its sprawling, 12,500-square-foot roof. We've written about how the co-op board came to the decision to go solar, a move expected to save 30 percent on energy costs. The next step: How do condo and co-op boards pay for it?

The view from the roof of Sun Garden Homes, a 70-unit co-op in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, includes unobstructed sights of Green-Wood Cemetery, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. But it is the roof itself that is the most remarkable: It is covered in solar panels. Sun Garden Homes installed the 50-kilowatt photovoltaic system in November, the first step in a long-term plan to reduce the building's energy usage dramatically. The building plans to overhaul its metering system, insulate and repaint its roof, improve boiler controls, and upgrade lighting, windows and toilets. The co-op anticipates the property's energy usage will drop by 30 percent from the solar and metering project alone.

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