New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



How to Revive and Rehabilitate a Run-Down Building

The Challenge

Recently, I was hired by a cooperative that I had managed ten years ago. What I found was a sadly deteriorated building that had been seriously neglected for many years. The newly elected board and I took on the task of “making it new again.” The previous board had decided not to raise maintenance and not to seek bank funds to correct problems. Mechanicals were failing, including an elevator and boiler, and there was an overall breakdown of plumbing lines.
The Solution

With the support of the new board, financing was sought and approved. Engineers were hired to survey the serious defects, and contractors were hired to make the building whole again. It is expected to take four to five months to give the cooperative a new lease on life. Residents have begun to see the new face of their cooperative and are very pleased with the new look, even though we have a long way to go.

The Lesson

When you are elected to serve on a board, this responsibility should be taken seriously. No matter what hard decisions need to be made, no board member should have a personal agenda. The board should always act for the benefit of all cooperators.

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