New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

MANHATTAN

Ed Fields, who has lived in Tribeca since Halloween 1982, has seen his neighborhood change – but still regards it as a “a small town” located within the vast city. He notes that change can be good, and points to the condominium he has lived in for the past 20 years as an example.

The building, at 55 White Street, was constructed in 1861, and features a striking cast-iron facade, with large picture windows, Corinthian columns, and intricate designs in the brickwork. It was one of many beautiful buildings that resulted in the neighborhood being designated the Tribeca East Landmark District in 1988.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. Yet another restaurant, yet another building fighting it: Like the planned Denny's in FiDi and a still-unnamed Mexican place in Tribeca, the Atlantic Terrace co-op in Brooklyn (left) wants to say arrivederci to Tony Roma's. Plus, a shareholder's riled in Riverdale and we remember the Rembrandt, New York City's first co-op. And co-op / condo boards won't want to miss the lawsuit alleging a scam of Weekend at Bernie's proportions!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, State Senator Tony Avella tries to bring home the bacon ... or, rather, keep the bacon home, in a co-op issue involving a pet pig. Plus, for condo and co-op boards, New York City wins an illegal hoteling case, a co-op racial-bias lawsuit moves forward, and the boards of a Fifth Avenue co-op and a nearby condominium band together against a building proposed to rise between them.

In February, a 105-unit condominium near Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn saw its insurance premium spike by 30 percent to $44,000. A 148-unit condo on the Upper East Side of Manhattan watched its bill jump 10 percent, to nearly $72,000. And a doorman co-op in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, recently swallowed a 9 percent premium increase. Condos and co-ops across New York City are bracing for an expensive insurance market, as insurers raise rates for the first time in years.

No building seems immune. Even co-ops and condos that are fully insured and haven't filed claims are watching their rates jump by as much as 9 percent and their deductible limits rising. Other buildings are discovering that their carrier simply won't cover them anymore.

Setting a co-op's monthly maintenance fee or a condominium's common charges isn't a precise science. Are you charging too little, and your building is suffering for it? Or you charging too much, squeezing your residents and making apartments less attractive in the sales market? To help with you with this balancing act Habitat presents journalism professor and former co-op board president Steve Wolgast's third, roughly biannual survey of Manhattan maintenance fees.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, police name an accomplice in the Penn South co-op embezzlement, and one Financial District condo board gets sued over cell-phone antennas while another hopes Denny's won't grand-slam into their luxury building. In other lawsuit news, a Murray Hill co-op board misses a deadline in a discrimination lawsuit. Note to self: Don't hire that lawyer. Plus, see how all the changes in the co-op / condo tax abatement play out with LLCs and trusts — trust us, you want to know. And Bruce Willis buys hard on the Upper West Side.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, they do love their cigarettes in Queens, a Long Islander may face eviction for burning the wrong kind of firewood and Petey the Pig's "parents" are trying to sell their co-op apartment and fine a more swine-friendly place. There's a Harlem co-op / condo expo April 6-7. And where the wild things aren't is in the late Maurice Sendak's co-op, now up for sale. Plus, for condo and condo and co-op boards, we've advice on mediation.

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This year, the Coliseum Park Apartments on the west side of Manhattan installed an electronic key-fob system across 32 exterior and common-area doors. The technology, already widespread in new condominium developments, opens doors wireless and keylessly, and the data provided, like that of security cameras, helps allow the co-op's building management to target and control access. Yet once your co-op or condo board has decided to use a key-fob system and your residents are aboard, what are the steps to actually getting it installed?

Soon after taking over as managing agent on the 42-building 420-apartment West Village Houses complex in lower Manhattan, Lawrence Properties had to cope with the devastating effects of superstorm Sandy, which knocked out power and flooded the basement and ground-floor apartments, leaving 33 families homeless. "Almost 10 percent of our apartments have been destroyed by the storm," says co-op board president Jim Bozart. "There's been extreme dislocation, lots of suffering, most of the people are not back in those units. They've been gutted."

How did the management company and the board work together in the wake of this disaster? And what can your own co-op or condo board learn from it? Bozart and Lawrence Managing Director Anton Cirulli spoke with Habitat editorial director Tom Soter about their experiences.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, are the primarily Polish residents of The South Star condominium prejudiced against the Russian lady, or do they just not like her illegal hoteling? Plus, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Hauppauge) talks HUD money for superstorm-Sandy repair grants, the CityRealty website revamps and Chelsea Clinton buys a condo, in neither Chelsea nor Clinton. And for condo and co-op boards, we've got noise-and-nuisance fights on the Lower East Side and in Tribeca.

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