HABITAT

QUEENS

Georgetown Mews co-op board fought for years to overcome roadblocks.

A Condo Loan That Softens the Sting of Assessments

Written by Bill Morris on July 05, 2017

Rego Park, Queens

By spreading payback over years, boards can get cash in hand to do capital work.

Boosting Co-op Parking Income

Written by Paula Chin on June 19, 2017

Forest Hills, Queens

The Forest Hill co-op board in Queens takes a DIY approach and reaps a fat profit.

Father and Daughter, Keeping New Yorkers Squeaky Clean

Written by Bill Morris on May 19, 2017

Queens

From quarters to smart cards, Automatic Industries has changed with the times.

Is Smoke-Free the New Amenity?

Written by Kaya Laterman on March 24, 2017

Queens

North Shore Towers becomes the largest smoke-free co-op in the city.

The 7 Will Be the New L

September 05, 2016

Queens

Shutdown of L train will be a bruise for Brooklyn but a potential boon for Queens.

Co-op and condo boards are not responsible for shoddy renovation work.

 

Under the leadership of board president George McGrath, the posh co-op called Forest Hills South Owners dodged a shady property manager. But that didn't change the fact that it faced major capital investments. Roofs and aging elevators needed to be replaced in all seven buildings. In addition, the board recognized that evolving dynamics in New York's real estate market meant general improvements were required to keep the curb appeal of its buildings, so the co-op added an indoor gym for residents. All of that costs money. The co-op was in fairly good financial shape but they wanted to get into better financial shape.

George McGrath, board president of the posh co-op called Forest Hills South Owners, says his board has maintained a "trust but verify" policy for many years. That legacy includes a simple but effective list of processes when dealing with building finances and management companies.

When the cops finally came for Michael Richter, the board members of one Queens co-op knew they had done the right thing. Richter, owner of Charter Management, had acted as managing agent for Forest Hills South Owners, a 605-unit co-op spread across seven buildings. They fired him.

On July 13, 2010, police arrested Richter and charged him with five counts of second-degree grand larceny and five counts of first-degree falsification of business records. Richter was also charged with embezzling almost $1 million in tenant maintenance fees throughout a six-year period from five co-op buildings in Jamaica, Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Elmhurst.

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