New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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LOWER EAST SIDE

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, an Afghan War vet says his Shih Tzu helps his PTSD; co-op wonders otherwise; a condo board loses over phantom cigarette smoke; and while one co-op hopes a new commercial tenant finally takes, another backs down on tacky chains. Plus, Chloë Sevigny has no big love for her co-op anymore. And for condo / co-op boards, we've the latest on green roofs and on e-mailing notices.

As a native Californian, Scott Miller says recycling is in his blood. So, it made his blood boil whenever he would see plastic laundry detergent jugs tossed into the trash bins in the laundry room at his Lower East Side co-op.

"The recycling area was just around the corner, but without signage and without an opportunity to make it easy to recycle in that area, it was all just going into a landfill," says Miller, who lives at the 1,728-unit Seward Park Cooperative.

It was one of the things that led him to volunteer last summer to take part in the Apartment Building Recycling Initiative, a two-hour program offered monthly by the city's Department of Sanitation (DSNY). There he learned about quick and often free fixes that can increase the amount of recycling and ensure that the proper things are going into recycling bins.

... how door staff can help or hinder your co-op / condo sale, a new condo with amenities aimed at Orthodox Jews, and Seward Park becomes "Sewer Park," according to a lawsuit. For condo and co-op boards, we've news on rising water bills and advice on co-op subtenants and condo arrears.

... 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.

... a Brooklyn co-op ponders the cost of repairs now that its building has been landmarked and a buyer gets blindsided by a seller not honoring a deal — wait till you read why. And a real-estate attorney explains how co-op boards may just have saved New York City real estate.

Lance Kolb, manager of the 650-unit Schwab House co-op, on Manhattan's Upper West Side remembers being struck by how unappealing the doormen's uniforms seemed.

"I can't even remember them," he says grimly. "Maybe I blocked them out. All I remember is that they were brown and ugly." His recommendation: Replace all 50 staff uniforms.

The way you dress your staff can affect curb appeal — and also send a message on how you run your building. "This isn't an area to save money on," observes one manager. If the braid on the trousers frays at the hem and looks "ratty," to use another manager's word, don't assume a potential buyer won't notice.

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