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Caton Towers Co-op Moves to Cut Carbon Emissions

Written by Sue Treiman on September 11, 2019

Kensington, Brooklyn

New cogen system will cut costs, help meet looming emissions limits.

Boards need to act when staffers get out of line.

The average price of an apartment in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods is now higher than that of Manhattan co-ops and condos, according to a StreetEasy study cited by Crain's New York Business. While the magazine notes the "obvious caveat" of comparing neighborhoods with an entire borough — where apartments in Inwood and other upper-Manhattan locales sell for far less than in such luxury area as Central Park South or Tribeca — at least two Brooklyn spots blow Manhattan's $890,000 median out of the water: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Underpass), at $1.5 million, and the Columbia Street waterfront, running through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, at $1.147 million. DUMBO, in fact, averaged less than just a half-dozen Manhattan nabes. On the bright side, Kensington is still very affordable.

Exploding toilets sounds like the punch line of a joke. But to the residents of Caton Towers, a 283-unit high-rise co-op in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, it was no laughing matter. A string of recent toilet explosions in the building injured three people — and now the co-op is facing three lawsuits.

The worst part is, that's not the worst part. Because of the three lawsuits, the Federal National Mortgage Association, popularly known as Fannie Mae, is now declining to back mortgages in the building, causing half a dozen potential sales to fall through.

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.

... more on tax-fairness legislation introduced in Albany; whether no-smoking buildings affects apartment prices; a lobby renovation done right; and The Sheffield pools its resources. And for co-op and condo boards, an expert answer on who's responsible with bathtubs leak.

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