New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

HABITAT

MANHATTAN

As spotlighted in N.Y. Habitat’s "Silhouette" column in June 1982, the cooperative at 22 West 26th Street was billed as "one of Midtown's last and best loft conversions," with open-plan apartments and views of the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. Less than 50 percent of the industrial buildings on the block at the time had been converted to residential use, and local zoning preserved much of the gritty feel that drew buyers to New York City's Flatiron District.

All too often, when co-op / condo boards and other buildings owners decide to go green, the first thing they want to do is install solar panels. But it doesn't matter how many solar panels are on a roof if the electricity they generate is wasted somewhere else in a building. Which makes more sense? Spending thousands of dollars on solar panels to keep lights on 24 hours a day, or having a green super implement strategies for efficient lighting and lighting controls?

The sidewalks in front of this aging co-op needed replacement: they were cracked and unsightly. But the job came as no surprise to the board and its management firm, Cooper Square Realty: the board has been monitoring the condition of the property closely as it adheres to a 10 -year capital plan. “Our first priority is the shareholders,” he says. “We want to protect their investment. It’s a very well-maintained building in a great location.”

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. New York City Controller John Liu wants to hear from co-ops, condos and others who suspect the Department of Finance overvalued your building for tax purposes. Plus, a Queens co-op is putting up signs to try to prevent people parking legally on a public street, the Attorney General gives developers an extra six months to digitize their offering plans, and a co-op board goes after a widow and widower. And speaking of boards, a lawyer tells how to collect arrears by cutting off amenities.

... the Sheffield condominium's male prostitute is getting evicted, but not for, like, a month, and there's visiting-dog trouble at a Riverdale co-op. For co-op and condo boards, we have another case of going out of your way to make life hell for older residents, and an expert says a co-op board president can let his cousin sublet longer than other shareholders can.

... could an East Harlem co-op board be about the worst slumlord around, and corrupt as well? Another board on Park Avenue isn't smelling like roses, either, or gas. We've smoking, squirrels and squash — the vegetable, not the game — plus the latest in condo / co-op amenities. And for boards, we've got fallout from the Dakota co-op discrimination suit and more.

... a new condo-hotel might go up in Brooklyn Bridge Park. And are you living next to the guy who wrote Ocean's Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum?

... Manhattan condo prices tells the rest of the country's real estate to sit down and shut up, and we'll tell you the condo where Ricky Martin's going to be living on East 85th Street.

... tips on how to buy your child a co-op or condo. Say, George and Ira Gershwin's old place is for sale!

... a court rules against a Queens co-op that tried to evict an elderly couple when the asthmatic, severely allergic wife needed a disallowed air conditioner in order to, you know, breathe and live. Also: How to prep an apartment for sale, what to expect from brokers in 2012, and how condos are becoming like co-ops when it comes to admissions.

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