New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

HABITAT

THE BRONX

A $5 million class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of roughly 900 to 1,000 present and former Co-op City workers against that cooperative's management company, claiming unpaid overtime. The RiverBay Corp., which manages the sprawling, storied complex in The Bronx, has denied the allegations.

Updated Oct. 3 — When the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) shut down the gas in one of the three Skyview-on-the-Hudson buildings, in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, the co-op had to spend over $100,000 in upgrades before getting service returned after nearly two weeks. The co-op found it more cost- and time-effective to preemptively replace the hose connection behind the stove in every unit rather than find which ones had leaks.

Building a Better Boiler in The Bronx

Written by Jason Carpenter on June 11, 2014

The Sussex, 2186 Cruger Avenue, The Bronx

Getting a building's budget back in the black after mismanagement is a tough job for any board. The Sussex, a 73-unit co-op at 2186 Cruger Avenue in The Bronx, was in massive debt and facing a number of challenges when it came under new management in 2013. Chief among the problems: a sputtering, failing, soon-to-be illegal boiler that required immediate action.

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!

At a Labor Day party in 1998, New York University political science major A. James "Jamie" Warfel was murdered in Edgewater Park, a co-op comprised of 675 single-family homes in the Throgs Neck section of The Bronx. Friends and family created an impromptu memorial at the site of the tragedy, but the co-op board objected, and after years of contention the memorial was removed in 2007. But now, reports the Bronx Times, the board has relented and allowed the memorial, a rough-hewn stone with a plaque, at a recently installed athletic track a couple of hundred feet from the murder site. “It helps to heal some of the animosity that has built up over the years,” said the victim's father, Alwin Warfel, at the unveiling, adding, “You can’t erase history, but you can put it in the proper perspective.”

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, it's co-op shareholders vs. rental tenants at Chelsea's London Terrace over access to a pool. We've also news of a new, retroactive property-tax abatement; the Brighton Beach bathrooms get put on hold; and as Stevie Wonder sang, we're very superstitious, writing's on the wall — just not the wall of the 13th floor. Plus, for boards, co-op taxes are up, and Concourse Village workers are up in arms.

Opportunity in an Owner's Misfortune: Sublet Limits Force a Foreclosure

Written by Bill Morris; additonal material by Frank Lovece on December 31, 1969

Riverdale, The Bronx

Sept. 16, 2009 — New York City hasn't been hit as hard by bankruptcies and mortgage foreclosures as other parts of the country, but this recession has been taking its toll. So it was no great shock when a shareholder at a 77-unit, red-brick co-op in Riverdale, The Bronx, started falling behind on his monthly maintenance payments.

What is remarkable is how the board turned one shareholder's misfortune into a bonanza for the entire co-op.

A New York City court has ruled that existing State law forbidding private landlords from prohibiting day-care centers also applies to residential co-ops. The Housing Court decision, in a case involving a Bronx cooperative, invalidates a provision of that co-op's proprietary lease that says apartments can be used only as residences.

You can hear the smile in Mary Ann Dowling’s voice when she talks about the sense of community in her Bronx co-op. “It’s a mixture of people — some young, and the majority of [recent] sales are young couples with kids  but there are people who have lived here since the building was built” in 1953, says Dowling, the board president at Briar Oaks in Riverdale. “It’s a real community.”

Call it a “professional business with heart.”  Or call it an “Oasis” in the Bronx. In fact, you can call 1 Fordham Hill Oval many things, but most of them would be positive. And much of that is because of the hands-on board led by Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, 57, the charismatic board president. In the following interview, Pilgrim-Hunter speaks frankly about the frustrations and rewards of board service, and the challenges she faces in supervising 12 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, 1,119 middle-class apartments, and nine high-rises. Those buildings encircle the “Oval,” a verdant meeting space that gives the co-op its nickname: “Oasis in the Bronx.” The gated complex was built 60 years ago, and Pilgrim-Hunter has lived there for half that time.

What motivated you to serve on the board?

I was training to be a community organizer [with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition] when I started to hear rumblings about the board, that it was engaging in some really bad behavior. Then I started hearing about really rancorous board meetings. We finally had to organize the shareholders to vote out that board. The goal was to remove the four worst board members; we ended up replacing the entire group.

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