Brooklyn judge gives condo board power to “forcibly” soundproof unit.

Decade-long legal battle over shoddy construction is finally over.

An App Called Slack Can Organize Board Conversations

Written by Kathryn Farrell on September 11, 2017

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

A way to manage the flow of talk between boards and their managers.

Messenger system cuts through the tech blizzard.

Doing the New Math on Solar Energy

Written by Bill Morris on September 02, 2016

Prospect Heights

A Brooklyn co-op discovers that solar is changing – for the better.

Attorney general puts an end to notorious developer of shoddy condos.

The Green Point Savings Bank was built in 1928 on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Today, workers are busy dismantling the interior of the building, which the developer Slate bought for $6.5 million last year before filing a plan to build a 14-story condo tower on the site.

Now, with two demolition permits filed with the city – one for a full demo, the other for an interior gutting – neighborhood activists are fighting to save a grand old dame that is not protected by landmark status, DNAinfo reports.

Prospect Heights resident Scott Watson, an actor and self-described architecture fan, has gotten more than 200 signatures on a petition to save the bank from the wrecking ball. “When Capital One moved out of the bank, I thought, ‘There’s no way they could possibly tear down this amazing marble bank and make condos,' Watson says. "And then when I found out...I tried to do whatever I could to stop it. We’ve seen so many buildings just go. There really is no limit to what the developers can tear down at this point.”

Among those named on Watson’s save-the-bank petition are Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, and city councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.


Arguably, one of the cooler aspects about New York City is its 1920s-era buildings with their exquisite detail. The old bank buildings are especially lovely. In the ever-changing landscape of the city, some of these old buildings get converted into condos. Other times, however, a building such as the imposing structure on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, becomes a casualty of supply and demand. The former Green Point Savings Bank building at 856 Washington Avenue will be demolished to make way for a 14-story apartment building, reports DNAinfo, citing permits approved by the city last week. If you're a fan of old buildings, then hurry to get a photo because building and property records show that the neoclassical stone structure will be ripped down soon. The new residential property will include 28 condominiums over about 45,000 square feet, according to DNAinfo, with one floor-through unit on each of the top three floors. Sounds nice, but it's still disappointing news to fans of old buildings and to those who were holding their breaths for a Trader Joe's grocery store.

The Newswalk condominium has had its own private slice of hell for a decade now. Involved in a protracted lawsuit for several years, the 153 unit-owners could be pardoned if they all decided to stay home and hide from the world. The legal battle concerns shoddy construction work by the property’s developer, Shaya Boymelgreen, who began selling apartments there in 2002. Because of excessive leaks, some units became practically unlivable. As Habitat reported in June 2010, the renovation of this aging, former Daily News printing plant in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, was so stunningly sloppy that the unit-owners filed a lawsuit seeking at least $10 million in damages. (A decision in the case is pending.)

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.

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