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Taking Charge 2

Robert Dobruskin, board president at the Kensington, the 195-unit co-op at 200 West 20th Street, was entranced by the building as soon as he laid eyes on it. “I loved its mosaic entryway and the Art Deco design,” he recalls. He had lived as a renter in Chelsea since 1995, and he knew that if he ever bought an apartment, it would be there. 

Taking Charge 1

Pat Whaley was a schoolteacher for 35 years but she learned a few lessons in her position as board president at Villas on the Bay, a 42-unit condominium in East Moriches, New York. Built in the early 1980s on Long Island’s south shore, not far from the tony hamlet of Southampton, the four-building condo was, she says, “falling apart. We are on a beautiful piece of property overlooking a beautiful coast, and our buildings were awful. They were really in deplorable shape.

From the Editor 62: Babies

INVASION OF THE BABY CARRIAGES Baby carriages are taking over our lobby.I live in a small, 21-unit walk-up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and we have a small lobby. It’s simple, unadorned, and functional. Our super keeps it clean enough for my tastes, but others, both on and off the board (including my girlfriend), think he could do a better job. I actually think matters got worse when the super put in extra-bright lights, which only made the supposed cleaning deficiencies more prominent.

From the Editor 61: Lawyers


From the Editor 60: 2014

The year is ending, and with that, we present a review of what was good, bad, and inane in the New York real estate world.Most Laudable Idea: Local Law 84, which requires buildings of more than 50,000 square feet to monitor and report on their energy consumption.Swiss Army Knife Award: to versatile computerized violation tracking services, which not only track building code violations but also are now adding mobile apps, state and federal databases, 311 complaints, upcoming deadlines (with alerts) for filing, and more.

From the Editor 59: Transitions

   I don’t remember when I first met Andrea Bunis, but I never had any trouble remembering when I had talked to her. Blunt and to the point, Andrea always spoke her mind – not always appropriate for publication, but always with insights about the co-op and condo management business to which she dedicated her life.“I’ve given up trying to reason with the boards,” she said to me once.

From the Editor 58: Exit Michael

The man was standing at the buzzers, copying the names of all the shareholders. One of the residents had just come home from work and there he was writing all of the names from the buzzer onto the back of an envelope. I asked him if I could help him, and he said ‘no,’” recalls the resident-owner, who was also on the board. “So I asked him what he was doing and he said, ‘Writing the names down,’ and I asked him why and he said because ‘I’m going to sue you all.’ He then left.”That could be an illo by Marcellus.

From the Editor 56: DOB Saves Co-op

    I could have cheered. The buildings department finally came through.I admit it: I’ve been a big critic of the Department of Buildings (DOB). Its employees seem to drag their feet in responding to concerns or complaints; contacting the agency by phone seems impossible; and a visit to the DOB has sometimes seemed like a descent into Dante’s Inferno, with less-than-helpful folks mocking you all along the way.