New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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The sidewalks in front of this aging co-op needed replacement: they were cracked and unsightly. But the job came as no surprise to the board and its management firm, Cooper Square Realty: the board has been monitoring the condition of the property closely as it adheres to a 10 -year capital plan. “Our first priority is the shareholders,” he says. “We want to protect their investment. It’s a very well-maintained building in a great location.”

... a new condo-hotel might go up in Brooklyn Bridge Park. And are you living next to the guy who wrote Ocean's Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum?

... tips on how to buy your child a co-op or condo. Say, George and Ira Gershwin's old place is for sale!

... it's deja vu all over in Queens as co-opers prepare for another year's tax revolt. A new state law allows digital offering plans, condo prices are up in the outer boroughs, and why is New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez no longer safe at home at The Rushmore?

... a tax revolt grows in Queens (again), a condo developer must return $16 million in down payments and Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei (at right) thinks filmmaker John Waters is all wet. Or, well, she's made him that way. And for board members: Why your confidential e-mails may be anything but.

Read all the latest co-op /condo news for buyers, sellers and board members in Habitat's weekly Monday News Roundup. Also included: Permanent archival links. If a link ever goes dead, you'll still be able to read the backup at WebCitation.org.

... more on tax-fairness legislation introduced in Albany; whether no-smoking buildings affects apartment prices; a lobby renovation done right; and The Sheffield pools its resources. And for co-op and condo boards, an expert answer on who's responsible with bathtubs leak.

Board Service: How a Co-op Turned a Gas Outage into a Positive

Written by Alan Kramer, President, 17 W. 67th Street. One in an occasional series of real-life stories by board members about serving on co-op and condo boards. on January 05, 2012

Upper West Side, Manhattan, 17 W. 67th Street

Many people spend their weekends working with real estate brokers, scouring the city for the "right" apartment in the "right" building. I took a different route: I found the "right" woman, with the "right" apartment, in the "right" building, and married into our co-op 27 years ago.

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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