Co-Presidents’ Potpourri – November 2017

November 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we can say it most certainly was an eventful year. Your board started the year with a very ambitious agenda, only to find it largely derailed by the flood that occurred in early May. Affected shareholders are either finally back in their homes or making progress toward that goal. We hope things move as smoothly and efficiently as possible from here, as those shareholders have endured a challenging and disruptive summer.

Shareholders should take note that the Board has implemented several new protocols in order to prevent an event of that magnitude from occurring again and if a leak does occur, to mitigate it as soon as possible. A professional firm has completed a full mapping of all shut-off valves in the building. This is now posted graphically on the basement for our staff members, all of whom have been trained on what to do in an emergency leak event. Moreover, we interviewed and retained a new master plumber, who has been working successfully in the building since May under the watchful eyes of Sergio and our building architect, Ethelind Coblin.

It goes without saying that with the leak and everything else that happened at the building this year, Sergio and his staff have done a phenomenal job in their day-to-day responsibilities and in going the extra mile. We cannot thank them enough for everything they do.

Although the pace of sales in our building has moderated, we have seen several transfers and valuations continue to be healthy. One component of this is the very strong financial condition of our building. We now are working on the 2018 budget.

Regarding renovations, we had many projects occurring simultaneously over the summer. In addition we have learned that several shareholders are contemplating renovation in the winter and spring months. It is wonderful the apartments in our building continue to be upgraded, thereby improving the value of our co-op. However, concurrent renovations create a tangible strain on our staff and our shared elevator resources. In view of that, your board needed to implement certain measures to better distribute this extra workload. We have instituted a detailed alterations schedule and managing it monthly. Future projects may be deferred and/or supplemental charges for renovation projects may be assessed to cover the cost of additional staff support. The board is doing its best to manage this dynamic and we appreciate your patience. For reference, a detailed documentation on the renovation process can be found here.

New York City’s “Façade Inspection Safety Program” (FISP), previously known as Local Law 11, requires that owners of buildings with six or more stories have their exterior walls and appurtenances inspected periodically. Our cycle is due by the end of February 2018. We have begun the process with seasoned professionals. They will be installing scaffolding in the courtyard to repair some items near the top of the building and that will afford us the opportunity to complete our five-year cycle of compliance. 

Our window evaluation program is back on track. We retained WJE Engineers & Architects to conduct an independent assessment of the windows in our co-op. They have been performing an apartment-by-apartment inventory throughout October and seek to complete the assessment in November. Once we have the report, we will evaluate the work and determine and communicate next steps. A reminder of what the shareholders approved in February of this year: The entire initiative is focused on “old” (i.e. original) windows that have a functional problem requiring repair or replacement (e.g. windows do not open/stay open, have cracked glass, the sashes or frames are eroding, water is leaking through them, etc…). This program is not aimed at windows that may be deemed aesthetically unpleasing or windows that are new (i.e. not original, legacy windows). Detailed information about the program can be found here.

On the communications front we are pursuing a shift to email. Not only will this save us all money and help with environmental pressure, but it will be a more effective and responsive method. Many of you have provided your email addresses, but for those yet to reply, please spend a minute and register here. We understand that electronic communication is not for everyone but we do urge you to consider it.

We welcome noteworthy items for publication in these newsletters. Please e-mail James Graff or any of the board members with news you would like to share with the 336 CPW community.