New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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THE BRONX

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?

The Edgewater Park Owners Cooperative, in the Throgs Neck section of The Bronx, consists of 675 single-family, unattached homes. The Fair Housing Justice Center has sued that co-op alleging that it violated fair housing laws by selectively enforcing a requirement that prospective purchasers obtain three references from existing co-op shareholders.

Talk about your fish tales: A New York City co-op board is taking a shareholder to court over his running a commercial fish farm out of his home.

"The guy is breeding tilapia in his apartment," says Errol Brett, the attorney for Windsor Apartments, at 4705 Henry Hudson Parkway in Riverdale, The Bronx. "We are a pet-friendly cooperative, but I think he's going too far with these huge tanks."

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week: When co-op / condo sales prices go down,  property taxes still go up because market prices don't count in the computation. Now Albany says they should count — also to make property taxes go up. New York City Councilwoman Letitia James and others are trying to break this damned-if-you-do / damned-if-you-don't cycle. 

Plus, while Co-op City's management fights a court order to accommodate a wheelchair resident, Co-op City's board votes to accommodate him. Maybe Co-op City needs new management — especially since manager RiverBay Corp. just got the place fined $85,000 over another disability denial. What do they have against disabled people, anyway? They cost too much? We've the latest on income-restrict apartments, how to stage for a sale and two sales records set, and how'd you like to do David Duchovny's co-op admissions interview?

The 48-unit high-rise HDFC co-op at 1715 Nelson Avenue in The Bronx has a new amenity to offer its residents: Nine custom-built steel storage units from Bargold Storage Systems. Under Bargold's rental plan, the company absorbs the full cost of installation (estimated at $3,000 per unit) and then rents out the units to tenants itself, sharing a 25 percent commission with the co-op.

... the Sheffield condominium's male prostitute is getting evicted, but not for, like, a month, and there's visiting-dog trouble at a Riverdale co-op. For co-op and condo boards, we have another case of going out of your way to make life hell for older residents, and an expert says a co-op board president can let his cousin sublet longer than other shareholders can.

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