New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Take the Wide View During Capital Projects

The downside of overthinking. We manage a condo that has an outdoor pool. There’s decking around the pool with a roof membrane underneath, and it was leaking into the garage, causing pool and garage structural issues. The board dealt with this issue for several years, speaking to a variety of professionals. By the time it moved forward with a decision, it was too late. The pool had to close in August — which got everybody’s attention — and unit-owners wanted to know what was going on. 


Board elections were coming up a few months later, and the current board members realized they were going to have a difficult time getting re-elected. The upshot was a new board took over, and this issue passed to it.


The upside of deciding. The new board brought in new professionals. One of the board members is retired and is working on it full time with the structural and geo-technical engineers. This is one project, but all boards are going to be facing structural issues in the coming years, and it will be important to take action. 


I think boards will have to be able to analyze the information coming from all professionals — management, engineering, architecture and legal. They should check the references of their professionals to see how each has dealt with other projects. Maybe even visit those projects, especially when lots of money is involved. It would be good to speak with other boards to find out the pros and cons they dealt with on similar projects, asking what roadblocks occurred?

See the big picture. There’s something called tunnel vision. When you’re in the heat of an incident, you can’t have tunnel vision because that’s how you get hurt. You know, there’s a saying in business that there’s no profit in perfection. Boards need to see the larger picture, plan for it and move on it.

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

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