New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

THE BRONX

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. Yet another restaurant, yet another building fighting it: Like the planned Denny's in FiDi and a still-unnamed Mexican place in Tribeca, the Atlantic Terrace co-op in Brooklyn (left) wants to say arrivederci to Tony Roma's. Plus, a shareholder's riled in Riverdale and we remember the Rembrandt, New York City's first co-op. And co-op / condo boards won't want to miss the lawsuit alleging a scam of Weekend at Bernie's proportions!

I served for 25 years as the president of my co-op board (and hope to serve on the board again, perhaps). We are a 20-story, 339-unit cooperative building located in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, with a diverse cross-section of people. In my quarter-decade of service I learned many things, but one of the most important was to be flexible. What do I mean by that? Rules are important. Generally speaking, they must be enforced. But wise condo and co-op boards can and should know when to make exceptions. Over the years as president, I learned when to do that.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a New York City co-op board that refuses to recognize Hanukkah? That'd be mashugana if it weren't so disturbing. Plus, another high-rise hooker, recovering from superstorm Sandy, a co-op flood wall in Yonkers and city inspectors have become unglued in Co-op City. And for co-op and condo boards that want good lobby art but can't afford it, two boards have creative solutions.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, we pick up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy, with timely advice from insurers, property mangers and others, along with a sneak peek at an e-mail exchange among some condo owners in Lower Manhattan. Plus, a former doorman tells how incredibly cheap the billionaires are at 740 Park Avenue, and a free-speech case goes to court.

The New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit organization founded by signer-actress Bette Midler to help add arbor and foliage to New York City, is spearheading a tree giveaway Sunday, Oct. 21, at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx. The effort, in partnership with the City of New York, is part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs by 2017.  

Joseph Bohm was frustrated. As he saw fuel prices rising, he thought the co-op in which he lived was “missing a bet. We were losing money,” he recalls. “It bothered me no end where heating-oil prices were relative to gas prices. I pushed the board to make a change to gas, or to a dual-fuel system" where the co-op could switch from one source of fuel to another, depending on price. No one was really sure how to go about doing it. Nor was I.” Here's how he found out.

Ann Gordon moved into a 122-unit co-op in the Van Cortlandt Village section of The Bronx in 1986, when her career as a maker of large public sculptures was at its peak. She suspended a gigantic green boot above a Broadway marquee and installed 30-foot-long ballet slippers on the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Although she had no way of knowing it at the time, those art projects gave her a set of skills that would come into play, years later, in the co-op.

An onsite electrical plant at Co-op City failed early Thursday morning, causing a four-hour power outage in the northern Bronx complex of 35 high-rises and 236 townhouses. Seven residents were treated for minor injuries, and over two dozen temporarily trapped in elevators.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, Mayor Bloomberg proposes a residential smoking ban. Or does he? Plus, a tree may grow in Brooklyn but a co-op's just sprouted in the ever-burgeoning Bronx; the highest-priced New York City co-op ever gets sold; and what could be the second-priciest condo gets put on the market. Good thing Co-op City is staying affordable. And we wonder what Jennifer Aniston's combined co-op apartments will sell for now that she's moving (or moving in) elsewhere.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. There's no other news more important this week than New York State legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo letting the co-op / condo tax abatement expire. This, in a state where every other form of residential property gets an annual cap on tax increases. But there's a sliver of a silver lining — read the second article below and contact your representatives.

Also this week, New York City condos go on the warpath to collect arrears — read about some of the tactics now becoming commonplace. Plus, what's with all those condo boards acting like co-op boards, requiring hundreds of pages of buyers' financial data? A broker breaks it down. And did you know boards can't stop residents from operating day-care centers in their apartments?

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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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