New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



In 2012, Concord Village — a seven-building, 1,025-unit cooperative in downtown Brooklyn — was approved for a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for up to $600,000 toward energy fixes if the building decreased energy use by 15 percent in a year. All it had to do was produce an energy audit, identify upgrades, and then complete the upgrades in a year.

The co-op identified $2.5 million in upgrades, but it quickly became clear that some of the plans were too ambitious to finish in time. Plans to retrofit the ventilation system, for instance, were scrapped when the board realized the vents were different sizes in each unit and in different places, making changes difficult to complete quickly.

As with many post-war properties, Concord Village, a seven-building, 1,025-unit cooperative in downtown Brooklyn, heat wasn't distributed evenly, forcing shareholders to cope by opening windows in the middle of winter to cool down their overheated units.

There were other ways the co-op was wasting energy, too. Take the stairwells: "On a windy day, you could hear the howling wind going through the staircase, and that was taking the hot air as well," says Catherine Woolston, a board member who pushed for change in the co-op.

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?

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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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