New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Katz’s Deli survives by selling two properties and air rights for $17 million.

New wrinkle in the sale of AIDS hospice to luxury condo developers.

This story just keeps on giving.

Nursing facility sold on the sly to luxury condo developers.


In 2014, more than 10,000 plug-in cars were on the road in New York State. That number is projected to triple by 2018 and reach 1 million by 2025. It would be natural for an enterprising co-op or condo board to sense an opportunity. After all, someone has to charge all those cars.

Chinese money keeps pouring into New York City real estate. The latest infusion comes from China Vanke, the largest residential developer in China, which has partnered with Adam America Real Estate and Slate Property Group to pay an eye-popping $116 million for a former Lower East Side AIDS nursing facility that was originally built as a schoolhouse in the late 19th century. The developers plan to turn the vacant, 150,000-square-foot building at 45 Rivington Street into luxury condo apartments.

“We will continue to commit to the U.S.,” Vanke’s Kai-Yan Lee tells the Wall Street Journal. “We will continue to seek out good opportunities and good partners.”

China Vanke is also developing properties in midtown Manhattan, and in Park Slope and downtown Brooklyn.

The Rivington Street building was sold to the developers by the Allure Group, a private nursing home operator, which paid $28 million for the building last year and closed its 219-bed AIDS nursing facility last December, citing failure to obtain state Medicaid reimbursements. The sale to China Vanke was finalized only after the city made the controversial decision to lift a restriction on the deed, which required the building to remain a nonprofit nursing home in perpetuity.

Before the sale was finalized, Community Board 3 passed an angry resolution, saying the De Blasio administration lifted the deed restriction “with a total lack of transparency and without fair or reasonable public notice.”

Uncivil War Splits Seward Park Co-op

Written by Marianne Schaefer on February 25, 2016

Lower East Side

Every co-op and condo board in the city is in a perpetual hunt for the sweet spot: Low monthly maintenance plus a building that’s healthy fiscally and physically. When the board at the 1,728-unit Seward Park Co-op on the Lower East Side of Manhattan announced on Jan. 28 that they were hiring a valet parking firm to run the co-op’s 388-space garage and parking lot, they were “thrilled” to note that the change would keep parking prices below market rate, shorten the waiting list by increasing the number of spaces, and generate up to $200,000 in additional annual revenue. The board had hit the sweet spot, right?

Dead wrong.


The Department of Buildings has given its blessing to the demolition of one of the oldest and quirkiest buildings on the Lower East Side – a 200-year-old Federal row house at the corner of Grand and Essex Streets, The Lo-Down reports.
The building’s owner, Jennie Lai, plans to erect a 6,500-square-foot mixed commercial and residential building on the site, which recently housed a pizza parlor and flower shop on street level. The building is not landmarked because it had undergone too many alterations over the years, and so it was not protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The DOB rejected Lai’s original development plans earlier this month. She paid $4 million for the building, which will soon enter the graveyard of forgotten olde New York.

That Vital Co-op Revenue Stream: Sublet Fees

Written by Bill Morris on December 14, 2015

Lower East Side


When I applied to sublet an apartment in a co-op recently – something I had never done before – I received a crash course on a little four-letter word that is vital to the health of many co-ops: fees. Specifically, I got schooled on the fees that I, the potential subletter, would pay to the co-op and, far more important, the fees the shareholder would pay to the co-op for the privilege of renting her apartment to me.

Sweating the Vetting of a Co-op Sublet

Written by Bill Morris on December 10, 2015

Lower East Side


When I got word that my landlord was not going to renew my lease on the condo apartment I’d been renting for the past six years in Alphabet City, I got busy. My hunt brought me eventually to a lovely one-bedroom apartment with a terrace and knockout views of midtown and downtown Manhattan, for about the same rent I’d been paying for my apartment across the street from a housing project in Alphabet City. There was just one hitch: the building was a co-op, which meant, for the first time in my life, I would have to undergo a co-op’s vetting process for subletters.

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