Written by Mary Fran on March 14, 2013
In the final entries of co-op board president Mary Fran's 2013 meeting diary, she closes the year with the results of the Local Law 11 façade work, assessment issues and the annual elections at the 387-unit, five-building Park Terrace Gardens in the Inwoodsection of Manhattan. What she and her board went through — is that what you go through, too?
Written by Mary Fran on February 28, 2013
Mary Fran is a fairly typical board member, dedicated and determined, who has served three years as a member-at-large, one year as the vice president and then a year (so far) as president. Her home, Park Terrace Gardens in the Inwood section of Manhattan, is a fairly typical property of its type: a five-building, 387-unit cooperative built in 1939-40 and incorporated as a cooperative in the mid-1980s. It has a nine-member board, four supers, five porters, and a resident manager and her assistant in an onsite office.
Written by Stephen Vernon on September 27, 2012
When I looked at my co-op's financial situation in 2005, we had less than $10,000 in reserves, negative equity and barely positive cash flow. My building needed a sustainable, long-term fiscal plan. And I had my prototype: the Marriott hotel chain. I had worked for Marriott in the late 1980s into the early 1990s. At that time, the chain set aside a percentage of its revenue each year for capital repairs and improvements. As a result, management is able to repair and improve the property so that it stays current. Our co-op was in desperate need of a Marriott-style makeover!
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on June 21, 2012
With interest rates at record lows, many apartment owners and shareholders are looking to refinance their loans. That means copious amounts of paperwork, along with e-mails, phone calls, and faxes. But what does it mean for the board?
Some buildings take the position that if the bank is willing to lend the money, the board is willing to sign off on it without looking at the financials. Considering the shaky state of banking in recent years, some professionals suggest that a prudent board should take steps to protect the property's financial health.
Written by Mary Fran, Board President, Park Terrace Gardens. One in an occasional series of real-life stories by board members about serving on co-op and condo boards. on April 26, 2012
My board experience began in the mid-1980s when our building on the Upper West Side was converted from a rental to a cooperative. It was a 48-unit, early-20th-century building showing the effects of age and neglect. I was on the conversion committee that conducted meetings with residents, met with the landlord (seller), hired an attorney and went through the whole messy and fearsome process. For those of you who have done this, I needn't explain.
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