Cuba. Chile. The Upper East Side. What do they have in common? If you go by a lawsuit filed by some shareholders at 1035 Fifth Avenue, each has been the site of a coup. The New York Daily News reports that former Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Charles Koppelman and others claim there's been a "corporate coup," with the results of a May 13 co-op board election having been overturned after the building's managing agent "found" a proxy that had been set aside "by mistake." Famed interior designer Richard Mishaan, newly elected as board president, was deposed in favor of former Goldman Sachs chairman Eugene Atkinson. Judge Nancy Bannon of New York County Supreme Court, Civil Branch, has barred the co-op board from meeting pending a hearing on June 27.
June 17, 2014
Diana Harfouche, former board president of the Upper East Side, Manhattan, condominium The Impala, ended her time as board leader by overseeing the successful transformation of the property into a smoke-free zone. It was an effort that took the strategic skills of an Eisenhower — yet even so might not have succeeded had the initiative not started with the residents themselves.
June 09, 2014
New York University is fighting with its neighbors again — but this time, the miffed neighbor is a condo board. The New York Times is reporting that NYU is trying to connect its Institute of Fine Arts, on the Upper East Side, to a newly donated, ground-floor condominium apartment next door at 3 East 78th Street. The issue? The university wants to create a covered passageway — a breezeway — in an alley between the buildings. But the condo board objects, saying it suspects NYU is using the apartment as a beachhead to eventually buy up the whole building, and that having students as a permanent presence will hurt apartments' market values — said apartments being owned by the likes of the president of Dannon.
April 21, 2014
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week: Seriously? Mark Andermanis, board president of the subsidized Mitchell-Lama co-op East Midtown Plaza, jumps ahead of others to score a four-bedroom apartment — reserved for families of six, which, additionally, he does not have — and when he won't budge, an alert shareholder sues him. But he gets to keep the primo place because the shareholder doesn't have standing to sue ... and while the co-op board, perhaps, could, here's the thing: He's the co-op board president! Does this sound proper or right to anyone ethical? The good guys do win one, though, when a developer who refused to fix a Long Island condominium complex is permanently barred from selling condos. That's something, at least.
And then there's another reason for condo and co/op boards to be wary of Airbnb....
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on April 01, 2014
A trio of New York City statutes instituted last year are designed to make it easier for co-op and condo boards and other building owners and managers to address the extreme-weather effects of climate change, as well as better prepare for emergencies generally. We've written about Local Law 110/2013, which requires, among other things, drinking-water stations that draw separate from the main water line; and Local Law 111/2013, which addresses the complicated rules that govern backup-power generators.
The third leg of this triangle is Local Law 109/2013, which helps make it easier for buildings to install flood barriers.
Written by Richard Siegler and Dale J. Degenshein on December 19, 2013
Dec. 19, 2013 — Maro Goldstone is a shareholder of Gracie Terrace Apartment Corporation, at 605 East 82nd Street, a.k.a. 1 Gracie Terrace, in Manhattan. She and her husband, Thomas R. Newman, suffered extensive damage to their apartment when a 10,000-gallon water tank above them overflowed in 2003. The co-op's plan for remediation required a 50-square-foot reduction in the 1,400-plus-square-foot apartment. Goldstone objected, claiming the proposal violated the terms of the proprietary lease. So: May a cooperative corporation, when repairing an apartment, reduce its size?
March 10, 2014
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, why didn't anyone tell Co-op City's residents there were outbreaks of Legionnaires' Disease? Why did a community board recommend a restaurateur's liquor license over the objections of people living in the same building? And why did a smokers'-rights group butt out of a condo forum? Plus: You can't take your kid's stroller into the passenger elevator? Seriously?
February 03, 2014
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week: Remember that deaf grandfather a couple of weeks ago in Battery Park City, where the condo board disapproved a service dog? Yeah, that dog died, but the man has another one and the board's not pursuing eviction. However, the homeowner is still pursuing an anti-discrimination lawsuit. In better news for boards, the U.S. Senate is delaying an increase in the cost of mandatory flood insurance — and speaking of which, some New York City property managers are encouraging serious disaster-prep at their buildings. Plus, it's the latest amenity: personal shoppers! Which they still don't have at Billy Joel's former co-op, now up for sale.
January 20, 2014
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, we learn that property taxes are going up. That's news? It is when the jump will be 5.5 percent for co-ops and 7.4 percent for condos (per the New York Post) or 7.5 percent for co-ops and 9.6 percent for condos (per The Wall Street Journal) — as opposed to just 3.8 percent for owners of single-family homes! Wait, don't single-family homes already get their assessed values capped at 2 percent each year, while there's no cap on how high co-op and condo valuations can rise? Plus: We've board members who somehow couldn't predict the headline "Deaf Grandfather Fights Condo Board to Keep Service Dog." And isn't all this is exactly the kind of stuff a new co-op / condo social-media site will let apartment-owners talk about amongst themselves?
January 27, 2014
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the battle over emotional-support dogs gets even more emotional at East River House, as the feds get into the act. Elsewhere, condo and co-op boards might want to partake of a new program teaching doormen to recognize and report elder abuse. And some in City Council push for property-tax rebates. Plus, co-ops try to more like condos and vice-versa, a new affordable housing program will fill a long-empty condominium in The Bronx's Mount Hope neighborhood, and Ronan Farrow (pictured) may be your new Upper West Side neighbor.
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