New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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A condo’s kosher restaurant does not illegally impose a religious obligation.

WilkinGuttenplan announced this week that H. Edward Wilkin III — a 2015 New York SmartCEO CPA & ESQ finalist — was recognized as the CPA CEO of the Year for SmartCEO magazine. The magazine's CPA & ESQ Awards program honors the region's most enterprising accountants and attorneys for their leadership, accomplishment, innovation, and success. An independent committee of local business leaders chooses the CPA & ESQ finalists based on the quality of nominations submitted. Awards are presented to accountants and attorneys that are deemed to have made an outstanding impact on their clients' businesses. The winners were announced at an awards reception in June and were profiled in the May/June issue of the magazine. In the last three decades, WilkinGuttenplan P.C., Certified Public Accountants and Consultants has grown from the two founding partners to a firm that now employs more 85 professional and administrative personnel. Wilkin was one of thirteen winners in various categories. The others included Michael J. Kessler, CPA (Michael Kessler, CPA, owner and profitability consultant) for CPA Service Area Firm/Small; CBIZ MHM, LLC and Mayer Hoffman McCann CPAs (Steven Nicokiris, CPA, managing director and shareholder) for CPA Service Area Firm/Large; Presti & Naegele (Joseph Romano, CPA, partner) for CPA Firm of the Year/Small; Citrin Cooperman (Wilfredo Fernandez, CPA, partner, accounting and tax) for CPA Firm of the Year/Large; Frank Frank Goldstein Nager PC (Jocelyn Nager, managing partner) for ESQ Service Area Firm/Small; David Sorin, partner, McCarter & English, LLP for ESQ Industry Practice; Corey L. Massella, CPA partner, Citrin Cooperman for CPA Industry Practice; Amy E. D'Agostino, counsel, Chadbourne & Parke LLP for ESQ Industry Practice; McCarter & English, LLP (David Sorin, partner) for ESQ Service Area Firm/Large; Smith Valliere PLLC (Mark W. Smith, founding partner) for ESQ Firm of the Year/Small; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Jodi Rosensaft, associate) for ESQ Firm of the Year/Large; and Jessica Golden Cortes, partner, labor and employment, Davis & Gilbert LLP for ESQ Industry Practice. 

One Lapsed Homeowner’s Policy Can Swamp a Building

Written by Michael Schwarz on July 17, 2018

Fort Lee, New Jersey

Boards need to make sure all residents are covered all the time.

A Win-Win-Win on Window Replacements

Written by Paula Chin on October 25, 2016

New Jersey

A New Jersey condo board learns that when replacing windows, more is more.

The board of directors of Mediterranean Towers South, a co-op in Fort Lee got some bad news this week from the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the board "violated the political-speech rights of a resident running for election to the board," reports Cliffviewpoint.com. The resident in question is Robert Dublirer, who has lived at the co-op since 2002 and happens to be a former New York prosecutor. The board denied Dublirer's request to pass out leaflets to residents ahead of the election, citing the building's bylaws, which prohibit paper pollution, as well as door-to-door solicitation. But although Dublirer's leaflets were critical of the incumbent board, they were also promoting his own candidacy. Also not helping the board's case is that it distributes leaflets of its own. Oops. Perhaps most damning of all, in hindsight, is the time, resources, and money the board has spent in court. According to Cliffviewpoint.com, "a state judge in Hackensack dismissed Dublirer’s complaint … but the Appellate Division reversed his ruling" [and] "the Supreme Court upheld the appeals judges’ decision." If the board was trying to keep residents from souring against it, this was not the wisest path to follow.

In the last few years, the board members of Northbridge Park, the 14-story co-op in Fort Lee, New Jersey, have overseen the replacement of the cooling tower and the repair of the windows, elevators, hallways and roof. They also have plans to replace the chiller; install new exhaust fans (with variable, energy-saving speeds); and restore the garage deck.

Following the water infiltration caused by heavy rainstorms and Hurricane Irene, the board commissioned a $10,000 engineering study from Rand Engineering & Architecture. "We had a study done as to what the useful lives would be; what the estimated cost would be," Allan Heussinger, chairman of the engineering committee, explains. "What are the priorities? That way, we knew where we have to go. We wanted to do that methodically."

 

New products can be scary if you or your professionals have never used them before. A new product requires more attention to make sure a job gets done correctly. "It's a learning process, not just for us, but for the product developers," says Michael Popeck, senior project manager with the Falcon Group. And so the 36-building, 445-unit Port Imperial Condominium, in West New York, N.J., is about to be the guinea pig for Royal Building Products' Celect, a cellular-PVC interlocking siding that has never before been used on a project this size.

Small energy investments can pay off — not just once, but year after year. Across the Hudson, the board of Lyons Towers, a 66-unit condominium in Newark, N.J., is looking forward to the savings that switching to LED lights can produce.

Armen Tagmizyan, a property manager with Cervelli Management, who handles the property, recently ran across New Jersey's Clean Energy Program, which offers rebates to make the process easier. "I met GreenLight [Energy, an energy service provider] at an expo and they explained the program to me," Tagmizyan says. "Now there are a lot of tricks and traps out there, but I did my due diligence with the company and I found out their program makes sense."

Regardless of what type of emergency for which you're preparing, the hallmarks of your plan should be communication, organization and clarity. If everyone knows what his or her role is in an emergency — including the property manager, board members, shareholders, and building staff — then executing that plan becomes much simpler.

Three months after Sue Tel moved into the Carlton Tower condominium in Passaic, N.J, the first assessment hit — and hit hard. The 228-unit building had to replace its two mammoth boilers and fix a nest of problems originating during the tenures of two long-serving presidents and various entrenched boards. But the real source of the building's woes, in Tel's opinion, was that it had had several different property managers who were under-qualified and under-motivated.

Tel figured that if she was going to get hit with assessments, she deserved to know why. Six months after moving in, she ran for a seat on the five-member condo board and got elected.

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