New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



It was a rough year for affordable housing in the Big Apple, but the city delivered some hope last week to supporters of Mitchell-Lama. According to a DNAinfo report, the city announced last week that BFC Partners — the developers of Staten Island's outlet mall — plan to buy and rehabilitate the Arlington Terrace Apartments, a Mitchell-Lama housing complex in Mariners Harbor. BFC will spend $75 million to tackle major exterior and interior fixes on all four buildings. The developers also plan to rename the complex North Shore Plaza and "extend its affordability for residents," the report added. That's definitely good news to residents of the troubled housing complex, who have had to cope with mold, mice, and even crime in their own courtyard.

So, enjoy our selection of the top 10 co-op / condo quotes (or groups of quotes) uttered in 2011. And feel free to add your own favorite 2011 co-op / condo quotes in our "Comments" section at the end!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents — but especially boards this week. A new condo in Brooklyn enhances its appeal and market value by supporting an adjacent park. A notorious Airbnb hotelier takes a fall. Learn what amenities add a lot to the cost of maintaining a co-op or condo building, and which don't. And find who NYSERDA calls New York City's top four engineering firms in helping buildings achieve energy-efficiency. Plus: Condo fire on Staten Island, tips for acing your co-op board admission interview, and the seller of a co-op in the "Ghostbusters building" (above) doesn't get slimed on the price.

Maria Civille's 116-unit co-op in Staten Island is considering a ban on smoking in the building. As with most boards, this means reading up on what other buildings are doing and how they're doing it, followed by internal discussion and then, almost inevitably, by rumors like "They're imposing $500 fines if they catch you smoking!" when all you're talking about is simply accepting non-smokers only in future apartment sales.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a luxury building is actually chintzy, its non-union doormen argue. And a Staten Island board seems rather cheesy, if the parking-space perks its members gave themselves is any indication. A court puts the brakes on a co-op's attempt to be rid of a Citi Bike rack. And a condo-owner in Chelsea gets concrete results — from a construction site dripping it onto his patio. Plus, for condo and co-op boards, an attorney finds yet another novel way of dealing with unit-owner deadbeats.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, it's all about balance: When co-op maintenance or condo common charges are too high, the middle class leaves. Too low, and you may not be able buy a boiler. We've another analysis of the new tax-abatement law, eco-friendly floors in Brooklyn, superstorm Sandy debris in Staten Island, and a newly landmarked co-op in Queens. And for boards there's got The Dakota lawsuit — as told by Vanity Fair! Welcome to the big time!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a Brighton Beach condominium goes from lawsuits to protests over a public toilet its residents say is in the wrong place — blocking their ocean views. Plus, the noisy saga of 199 Bowery continues; a condo buyer who pulled out of a deal not only lost the deposit but owes $577,000 in legal fees; and looking to buy? Dont' overlook The Bronx! Plus, for condo and co-op boards, we've a Sandy-related lawsuit, a lawyer's thoughts on absentee ownership and more.

What's the buzz? In the case of Linda Cummings' one-bedroom condominium apartment at Foxwood Square in Staten Island, it was noise from the boiler room below her bedroom — a constant hum every October through May that was only matched, she says, by the overwhelming silence of a condo board that refused to correct the problem for over three years. And when it finally did so, says a sound engineer, it did it wrong. Why did this homeowner's pleas about noise fall on such deaf ears?

Paul Vercesi moved into his 80-unit building near Gramercy Park way back in 1962. After the building converted to a co-op in the 1980s, he served a dozen years as the co-op board treasurer, then returned in 2000 as board president, a post he still holds today. His philosophy, in its simplest terms, is to get to know your fellow shareholders so that the board's decisions reflect the will of the majority of the building, not just the majority of the board.

April 4, 2012 — Perched on the slope of a steep hill in Staten Island’s waterfront St. George neighborhood, 36 Hamilton Avenue enjoys sweeping vistas of New York Harbor. Unfortunately, the 116-unit, seven-story co-op also has to contend with some wicked stormwater runoff — severe enough to flood the basement and carve out a ditch in the soil at the fence line.

Board president Maria Civille said new sidewalks actually exacerbated the problem because they weren’t properly graded, and the board opted for a new fence and retaining wall. But when the fencing company’s work proved substandard – or “disgraceful,” as she tells it — landscape architect Tom Sagona came to the rescue. Read more >>

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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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