New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

MIDTOWN

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. More on price floors keeping people locked in their apartments, and billionaire buyers at one midtown condo may reap 421-A tax abatements meant for lower-income housing. There's one degree of Kevin Bacon at an Upper West Side co-op trying to tone down a big honking new penthouse next door. And for co-op boards, a candidate for the New York State Assembly wants to revive the issue of board oversight and accountability.

In the world of co-op and condo amenities, the midtown condominium The Sheffield has just served up a tasty new dish on a platter: a restaurant partnership entitling residents to a host of perks at eateries owned by the David Burke Group — at no extra cost to the buildings homeowners.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week: When co-op / condo sales prices go down,  property taxes still go up because market prices don't count in the computation. Now Albany says they should count — also to make property taxes go up. New York City Councilwoman Letitia James and others are trying to break this damned-if-you-do / damned-if-you-don't cycle. 

Plus, while Co-op City's management fights a court order to accommodate a wheelchair resident, Co-op City's board votes to accommodate him. Maybe Co-op City needs new management — especially since manager RiverBay Corp. just got the place fined $85,000 over another disability denial. What do they have against disabled people, anyway? They cost too much? We've the latest on income-restrict apartments, how to stage for a sale and two sales records set, and how'd you like to do David Duchovny's co-op admissions interview?

... building blogs, renovation, landmarking and more — including, for board, the latest news on managing-agent payola and virtual meetings.

After a scheduled March 19 hearing was adjourned, a settlement was reached yesterday on the courthouse steps in the case of two midtown condo owners sued to force eviction of their male-prostitute tenant.

Stephan Greving, who went by the nom-de-whore Dave Bruno, will be evicted from the nearly 600-unit The Sheffield. Kelly Ringston of Braverman & Associates, the attorney for the board, confirmed but could not disclose details of the settlement, which board member Larry Wagner said he expects will be formalized "next week."

The Sheffield, a nearly 600-unit luxury condominium at 322 West 57th Street, has weathered its share of travails. Built in 1978 as a rental near the dowdy old Coliseum, it was purchased for condo conversion in 2005 and briefly became Sheffield57. You may recall that as the site of a widely publicized lawsuit by the condo-owner association against the conversion developer, and of subsequent adroit negotiations that saved the place from a second-rate fate.

And now comes the curious case of the male escort, carrying less the poignant charm of Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8 than it does the rueful chuckles of Rob Schneider's Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

As initially reported by The Real Deal's Leigh Kamping-Carder, the condo board of The Sheffield filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on March 1 against attorney Bruno Cova and his wife Bettina Beck, owners of the apartment where police arrested Stephan Greving last October on a misdemeanor count of prostitution. Greving, who pleaded guilty and was released on his own recognizance, advertised through a make-escort website with the charmingly evocative name Rentboy.com.

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