New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

UNION SQUARE

When a new building rises next door, co-op boards need to know their duties.

It's getting to feel like you can't swing a cat without hitting a condo on 14th Street. A New York YIMBY reader sent the publication photos of a new rendering showing the planned condo that will rise at 209 West 14th Street. The four-story building that stood in there was just demolished to make way for the new eleven-story condo. "The 119-foot-tall structure will hold 21 apartments, along with commercial and community space," according to YIMBY. Citing the Schedule A filing, YIMBY reports that the "ground floor will have 464 square feet devoted to retail, a little 284-square-foot 'community center,' and the lower half of a duplex. Then the second floor will include the rest of the duplex and two other units. Between one and three units apiece will occupy the remaining stories, with a full-floor penthouse on the 11th floor." In all, we're talking 21 apartments divided across 35,959 square feet of residential space, which means potential buyers can expect spacious apartments averaging 1,712 square feet each. Not too shabby. 

Manhattan's Zeckendorf Towers last week became the largest condominium in New York City, and possibly the nation, to go completely smoke-free. In the strongest voter turnout in the 26-year-old building's history, 85% of its 647 unit-owners voted 83.5% in favor of the amendment prohibiting new residents from smoking in apartments — public areas already being covered under law. A grandfather clause grants existing owner-residents three years before their units become subject to the smoke-free policy.

With warmer winters and hotter summers – with the climate changing dramatically every day – what is the first defense against the elements? The short answer: innovative sustainability practices. Indeed, some of the most commonly considered options in the new weather patterns New Yorkers will be facing are green roofs, blue roofs, and white roofs.

The largest condominium in New York went smoke-free, boards crawled their way toward formal gun and privacy policies, buildings NIMBY'd restaurants and board prez Joan Rivers won a court battle. And, of course, some things remained constant, like the ubiquitous push-pull between residents and boards. All this and more helped make up the year in co-op and condo news … and we've got the quotes to prove it!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, Zeckendorf Towers goes smokeless, the folks at Alwyn Court and The Briarcliff go homeless, and thanks to 24-hour construction crews, a Rockaways co-op goes sleepless. Plus, three Lower East Side co-ops install fuel-efficient boilers to save money heating 2,700 apartments, Airbnb lobbies politicians to take the "illegal" out of illegal hoteling, and people debate the pros and cons of the proposed co-op admissions disclosure law.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, Penn South goes south, and $190,000 went with it. Plus, New York officials want banks to release insurance money that's due superstorm Sandy victims, a co-op has constant drunken revelers in its garden, and does monthly maintenance ever decrease?  And for condo and co-op boards, what do you do with a dog that bites? What about if the owner is a little old man?

As a board member, I think a call should go out to New York City co-op and condo boards for great ideas that buildings left without power came up with to help cope with their situation. Superstorm Sandy hammered home the point that every board ought to have an emergency preparedness plan. Your ideas will inform such plans and enable us all to be better prepared.

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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