New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a 63-year-old woman in a Fifth Avenue co-op has had the same Maytag washer in her apartment for 20 years with permission and without trouble. Now the co-op board won't approve a replacement unless it's one of three hoity-toity brands. Well, lah-de-dah ... Maytag's not good enough for 'em? Let's go to court! And court may be where Trump Village West board president Igor Oberman might wind up, since a New York City Department of Investigation report accuses him of less-than-ethical things. Plus, Co-op City has an asbestos problem. Or does it?

In 1950, a young Jay Silverzweig, the owner of a plastics business, watched electricity costs take a toll on his neighbors in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Two fellow entrepreneurs, who used steam to clean rags, finally decided to get off the electric grid and worked out a cogeneration system (or CHP, i.e., "combined heat and power") that uses natural gas to produce electrical and thermal power.

More than 60 years later, those early experiments in alternative energy were lurking somewhere in Silverzweig's mind as he spearheaded the $1.5 million cogen project at the Brevoort East, a 26-story, 325-unit cooperative at 20 East 9th Street in Greenwich Village.

Does your co-op have a flip tax that it is higher than five percent of the gross sales price? If it does, you should be concerned. Lewis Kobak is.

Kobak, the longtime general manager of Brigham Park Co-op Section 4, in Brooklyn, became worried earlier this year about his co-op's transfer fee — colloquially called a flip tax — when several shareholders were having trouble selling their apartments. Buyers were being turned down for bank financing.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the battle over emotional-support dogs gets even more emotional at East River House, as the feds get into the act. Elsewhere, condo and co-op boards might want to partake of a new program teaching doormen to recognize and report elder abuse. And some in City Council push for property-tax rebates. Plus, co-ops try to more like condos and vice-versa, a new affordable housing program will fill a long-empty condominium in The Bronx's Mount Hope neighborhood, and Ronan Farrow (pictured) may be your new Upper West Side neighbor.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, condo-owners at the landmarked American Tract Society Building a.k.a. 150 Nassau Street, swill be welcoming a Denny's restaurant, after all. Well, maybe "welcoming" is too strong a word. In Brighton Beach, the ultra-green condo at 67 Brighton 1st Lane may or may not still be called Bright N' Green, but it's back in the news. Upcoming Late Night host Seth Meyers buys in Greenwich Village. And condo owners at The Lennox say its construction was bollocksed. Plus: Tips on spotting a friendly / liberal co-op board.

UPDATED March 22, 2013 — Following an interagency raid by investigations who took files and computers from five local heating-oil business, two lawsuits have been filed by real-estate concerns charging that the companies have been selling oil diluted with waste product. Authorities and the plaintiffs claim such tainted fuel oil has been delivered for years to both commercial and residential buildings.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a Chelsea condo board has won its battle with a downstairs gym, New York City investigates possible fraud by Lower East Side co-op board members and a Queens co-op says it's not soulless. The Comptroller says the City goes too easy on water-bill deadbeats, raising rates for the rest of us. An expert answers: Are condo boards as powerful as co-op boards? And Law & Order's Richard Belzer sells his co-op. Dun dun!

When the 25-unit co-op at 105 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was built, its residents didn't have to worry about an elevator — because there wasn't one. It was a hotel for businessmen — and they must have been fairly fit business types, since the top floor was eight flights up.

Although 105 eventually got an elevator, its current residents are going to get a chance to relive past glories — or simply move out — when the system goes out of commission for six weeks this summer.

The job was a long time coming, says board member Melissa Kelly, who has lived in the building since 2001. "The elevator needs a lot of modernization; it has been breaking down on a regular basis. It's not been modernized at all since we converted in 1980."

When it rains indoors, you know you've got trouble. The board and manager at 415 Ocean Parkway had both been different when the nightmare started over five years ago, but the issue is the same today as it was then: constant leaks, some of them very bad. And the leaks have been spreading, causing bubbling in the paint and plaster, as they have moved from the bedrooms into the living rooms of a number of apartments.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the saga of Oceana may be nearing its end, as a judge halts construction on view-destroying boardwalk restrooms. Elsewhere, a condominium's residents get displaced by fire, Co-op City mulls Cablevision, and there's some legislative movement, finally, to thwart scammers who pretend to be disabled so they can have pets in no-pet buildings. Plus, Carly Simon sells her co-op, we've tips for co-op admission interviews — hopefully not like this one from Saturday Night Live — and apps, not fobs, may be the keys of the future.

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