Written by Sue Treiman on September 25, 2019
Unit-owners, with a little coaxing, buy into doing a big job the right way.
Written by Bill Morris on December 26, 2018
Condo board tackles capital project with multiple moving parts.
Written by Frank Lovece on October 30, 2018
Board uses "bridge" loan to fix retaining wall.
Written by Frank Lovece on October 29, 2018
Retaining wall collapse onto railroad tracks nearly derails co-op.
Written by Bill Morris on January 03, 2017
A determined co-op board overcomes years of watery misery.
Written by Bill Morris on December 28, 2016
Co-op board uses a consultant to oversee two elevator replacements.
August 23, 2016
A co-op board learns to listen to new ideas from unlikely sources.
Written by Frank Lovece on November 10, 2015
Your co-op might be making too much money. Yet sometimes it really can happen: you refinance the underlying mortgage, you refurbish and sell an apartment picked up in foreclosure – and then you have issues with your nonprofit status – and also shareholders wondering why their monthly maintenance is so high if you're rolling in dough.
What can you do? Lower the maintenance? Maybe. But if you're Michael Barbara, the 21-year board president of Yonkers' 528-unit Bryn Mawr Ridge Coopersative, you implement a concept that appears to have had no name until he gave it one: a reverse assessment.
Written by Tom Soter on May 20, 2015
Built in the 1950s, 333 Bronx River Road is a 165-unit Yonkers co-op with two new boilers and a whole lot of money saved. The old boilers were impressive — huge but dinosaurs: they did not do the job efficiently or cost-effectively. "We spent $128,000 last year for oil," says Sandro Catalic, a manager at Gramatan Management, the building's agent. "This coming year we predict that, with natural gas, it will probably cost us about $90,000. The savings [should be] dramatic."
The job began more than a year ago, when the five-member board, led by president Thomas Price, discussed options for their decades-old heating plant.
After Hurricane Agnes hit in 1972, the Brooklands complex — 137 apartments in three mid-rise, brick-and-stucco, neo-Georgian buildings — suffered a catastrophic flood. Flood waters engulfed the property again in 2007, thanks to a one-two punch of melting snow and torrential rains that caught the co-op by surprise. It wiped out all three elevators, both boilers, all electric meters and transformers, 96 automobiles, and all 24 ground-level apartments. Luckily, no one died. Kerry Smith, a retired magazine publisher, joined the Brooklands board and immediately got to work trying to convince his fellow shareholders that they needed to prepare for future flooding. Some of the board members had been dragging their feet on the proposal to augment the flood wall that was supposed to protect the property. Then Hurricane Irene and another devastating flood hit in 2011. Smith called the storm "a wake-up call, with a kick in the head." At an open meeting called for October 4, 2011, three foot-dragging board members resigned and were replaced by three people who shared Smith's sense of urgency. The flood wall would be augmented.
They just needed to figure out how to pay for it, and how to overcome the bureaucratic hurdle they were about to face.
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