New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



What striking workers and even some residents of The Printing House call bullying by its developer and condo-board head, Myles Horn, continues in one of the more blatant examples of the haves vs. the have nots. Apartments there sell for as high as $6 million, with one four-bedroom unit now on sale for $14 million. So how does this square with non-union concierges and cleaners making as little as $12 an hour, asks The Amsterdam News  — which notes that longtime concierge Arturo Vergara has to buy his own health insurance for $800 a month.

Part of the problem, the paper reports, is that to run the staff, Horn hired  Planned Companies, a New Jersey firm with "a history of labor violations and documented ties to organized crime." And since most New York City luxury buildings pay staff a decent wage, the issue appears to be, for Horn, a matter of won't, not can't. "They want to make a name for themselves as innovative developers," SEIU Local 32BJ President Hector Figueroa said in a statement to the paper, "but instead, they are becoming symbols of the irresponsible 1 percent.”

Just weeks after the new Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ contract was renewed, rumblings of union-busting and unfair working conditions are thrusting handymen, porters and doormen back into the spotlight.

The estate of Philip Seymour Hoffman is being sued by the late actor's downstairs neighbors, Gene Hoffnagel and his wife, Anna Erdelyi, over water damage they allege happened in June 2011 from a kitchen-sink leak. According to court documents cited by the New York Daily News, Hoffman — who used his fourth-floor apartment at Pickwick House, at 35 Bethune Street in Manhattan's West Village, as an office and guest home — had assured the couple his insurance company would pay for the $87,329.60 damages to their condo apartment.

Condo sales are up, price per square foot is up, and someone, somewhere, just sold their unit for a cool $43,000,000. (And yet, somehow, it’s not the most expensive unit per square foot!) 

CityRealty’s quarterly “CityRealty 100 Report” is out, and the numbers are eye-opening. According to the report, the first quarter saw 169 apartments change hands at what the firm has determined are the top 100 condominium buildings. Average price per square foot was $2,272. Compared to the same time frame last year, that price has increased 19.4 percent

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a Battery Park condo board wants two pit bulls that terrorized a Yorkie removed, while a banker jumps out a window when his Fifth Avenue co-op board wants his poodles ousted. Oh, and also because he's facing a huge tax bill. And speaking of ousted, a rental-building owner is the latest to use a private detective to evict an illegal hotelier. Plus, for condo and co-op boards, we've news of a disaster-grant bill two Congressmen will introduce tomorrow, a report on luxury co-ops and condos being undertaxed and a West Village condo with a truly creative idea — making your lobby smell upscale!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the saga of Oceana may be nearing its end, as a judge halts construction on view-destroying boardwalk restrooms. Elsewhere, a condominium's residents get displaced by fire, Co-op City mulls Cablevision, and there's some legislative movement, finally, to thwart scammers who pretend to be disabled so they can have pets in no-pet buildings. Plus, Carly Simon sells her co-op, we've tips for co-op admission interviews — hopefully not like this one from Saturday Night Live — and apps, not fobs, may be the keys of the future.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, police erroneously force a doorman to let a delinquent owner into her condo apartment — while almost simultaneously, a judge is ruling that she pay up first. Add the fact this occurred at the condominium where Joan Rivers is board president only goes to show that no matter who you are, board members (as another comedian put it) get no respect, I tell ya. Except here, of course, and for boards we've news of a lawsuit against an insurance agent who procured inadequate flood coverage, efforts to keep an alleged hoarder away and that graffiti on the side of your building? It may be worth six figures.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, The Plaza puts the pedal to the mettle, as the storied hotel-condominium sues to get rid of a CitiBike rack. Also suing: Corporations fighting Joan Rivers' condo nemesis Elizabeth Hazan (see last week's News Roundup), and Yoko Ono, who says her West Village co-op board is walking on thin ice. We've renovation plans a board won't like, the latest on mortgage rate-locks, and superstorm Sandy woes persist in The Rockaways, Coney Island and elsewhere.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week there's a lot of news for boards in particular, with a growing wave of scammers falsely claiming disability in order to have dogs in a no-pet building, with the latest on publicly naming residents in arrears, with the expansion of no-smoking buildings, and with converting a club space to an apartment for resale. Plus: families buying multiple apartments together, broker-free sales and Judge Judy (above) buys in Sutton Place.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, sponsor abuses stir up the latest call for a co-op ombudsman in the Attorney General's office, a Queens condo board changes apartments' locks to keep owners out during Sandy repair — commandeering one home for a construction office — and West Village co-opers sue to keep away bicycle clutter. For condo and co-op boards, we've the latest hoteling lawsuit. Plus: Condopedia! Which we're sure is as accurate as regular Wikipedia.

1 2 3

Ask the Experts

learn more

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

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?