From time to time the board or the managing agent will post important announcements here.

Sometimes notices that are distributed to shareholders or tenants  or notices that are posted in the lobby will also be posted here, though, for various policy reasons, not every notice will be posted here.

Summary of the 32nd Annual Meeting of 205 West End Avenue Owner’s Corporation

posted May 23, 2018, 7:15 AM by Marc Donner   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 2:21 PM ]

For those who attended the meeting, thank you. For those who could not attend, here is a brief recap.

Keith Bleiweiss, our Certified Public Accountant led us through a comprehensive review of our financials, for both the Coop and the Condo. All this information can be found in the 2017 Financial Reports mailed to you in the package containing the formal Meeting Announcement. Net, net, we are very healthy financially.

Next, Stu Sugarman gave the report for the Board, as follows:

President's Comments - 2018 Annual Shareholders' Meeting

Good evening. As the president of your Board of Directors it has been my pleasure to serve you this past year.  My colleagues on the board, Ellie Applewhaite, Abigail Burns, Larry Chaifetz, Marc Donner, Ernie Sander and Rob Stein, have committed their personal time and energy in service to you, our Shareholders. In recognition of their contributions, I’d like to personally thank them for their hard work and dedication.

As usual, this past year has been a very active one. I’ll highlight some of these activities.

  • We are nearing the completion of the work on the balconies. As a reminder, this project required replacing the railings, the partitions and the concrete on the fascia, along with installing new steel rebar in the new curb for additional structural stability and patching minor cracks and applying a multi-layer water proof coating to all balcony surfaces, including flooring, roof and fascia.  Due to many factors, including extremely bad weather conditions and DOB approval delays, this project has taken longer to complete than planned.
  • It has also required that additional unanticipated & time-consuming work elements be performed. Two such elements are: significant core drilling and patching of weak spots in both the balcony floor and roof, and the repair of over 20 broken drain pipes. However, the end is in sight and we anticipate having most balcony lines open by the end of June.

  •  This project will provide us with many years of maintenance free balconies, enable us to comply with regulatory mandates and be much more attractive than our prior 50-year old balconies. 

  •  Budgeted at $3.8 million, this project was funded equally out of reserves accumulated from our last mortgage refinancing, and from borrowing on our current mortgage at an extremely favorable rate over 26 years to create as little impact as possible to shareholders.  ($2 million @4.45% for 26 years)

  •  The impact of this borrowing was an addition of 1.3% to our maintenance budget this year.

    It should be noted than none of these delays are increasing the overall project cost as this was a fixed-price contract. Additionally, there are performance penalties that will help reduce the cost of the project.

  •  In conjunction with the balcony work, Local Law 11 repairs to our building’s façade will also be made where needed. Once the balcony work is complete, we will tackle the issue of leaks to our façade.

  • As reported last year, our new co-generation system is now online and working perfectly to provide both steam and electricity at a lower cost than that provided by Con Edison.  As a new benefit, not allowed by the old system, the new CoGen units are configured to provide emergency power to the common areas of the building in case of a blackout, including one elevator on each side of the building, hallway lighting, and the pumps that keep the roof tanks full of water.  We are testing this capability 2 times per year to ensure that it is working properly, and that the building staff are adequately trained. It is comforting to know we have this capability in case of a blackout.
  • We completed the replacement of all lighting fixtures in all common areas with LED bulbs. The payback for this $81,000 project is 2.8 years in electrical savings. This does not include extensive labor savings in manpower to change bulbs and the cost of the older replacement bulbs themselves.
  • The Board created a standing Community Room Committee with ongoing responsibilities to monitor the Community Room and provide recommendations to building management and the board. This committee, headed by Board member Abigail Burns, will ensure that the Community Room is best serving the entire 205 population. Very shortly, you will all have had a chance to respond to their survey. The Committee’s group email address can be found on the 205 Website Contact page.
  • As always, the Board focuses on expense management. Led by our Treasurer Rob Stein, we delivered a 2018 budget calling for an increase of 3.72%, which included the one-time increase of 1.3% for the balcony/façade work I mentioned earlier.
  • We completed an inventory of all usable space in the basement to determine if we could either add or expand our shareholder amenities. Unfortunately, we determined that all the current space is being used maximally. However, we are still examining options to store more bicycles in the current space.
  • The Gym Committee, responding to member requests, added a state-of-the-art Peloton spin bike this year. The Committee’s group email address can be found on the 205 Website Contact page.
  •  We had our building’s insurance carrier, HUB, perform a free risk assessment. While we passed with flying colors, there were some minor items that both Mark and Jose will need to follow up on.
  • We acquired 2 new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), one for the gym and one for the front desk. Training on the use of the AED units will shortly commence.
  • The landscaping committee, led by Board members Rob Stein and Larry Chaifetz, are doing what they can during the period the sidewalk bridge is up, and have planned a complete landscaping upgrade once the sidewalk bridge is removed.
  • We are working with LTCA to upgrade the common lighting in our shared park grounds. Ernie Sander represents us on the LTCA Board.
  • As a normal Board function, we review for approval all purchase and refinance applications. These applications are quite large and very detailed. In 2017, the Board reviewed 22 purchase applications, 9 refinance applications and 2 shareholder transfer applications. This is a typical volume of transactions, and entails a lot of work for the Board, but is a very critical function to ensure the financial stability of the Coop. Additionally, all new prospective shareholders are interviewed by the Interview Committee, headed up by Ellie Applewhaite.
  • And last, but not least, the Reality Advisory Board and Local 32 BJ have settled on a new 4-year contract. In anticipation of this, our 2018 maintenance had already included the anticipated labor increase. Therefore, there will be NO impact to our 2018 maintenance.

Mark and Jose continue to spend considerable effort to ensure we keep the building running at peak efficiency. This includes the ongoing maintenance of our water, steam, and control systems, upgrades of our window components and the vigilant repair of water leaks from our facade.

Several specific examples of their diligence to go “above & beyond” are:

  • Aiding shareholders during the period of extreme cold weather this past January. Building staff, under the direction of both Mark and Jose, responded to shareholder requests by sealing and appropriately closing windows, sealing the space around the air conditioners and providing covers for the air conditioners to minimize leaks of cold air.
  • Investigating the use of isolation valves to better control heat distribution and save energy costs.
  • Helping shareholders remove and store their balcony belongings until the project is finished. And cleaning windows, repairing screens and cleaning Air Conditioners for shareholders as the balcony project winds down.
  • Installing a direct dialer from Building Link to the Front Desk phone. Since Building Link is the official source of shareholder contact phone numbers, this will ensure that the correct number to contact a shareholder will always be used, and not a phone number given by a delivery person or a guest. This has improved building security and operational effectiveness at the front desk.

Looking forward:

Going forward we plan to be as tough on spending as we can be, consistent with prudent operation of the building and provision of services to shareholders.  205 is known as one of the most economical of the co-ops in Lincoln Towers, with an average growth in maintenance costs over the past decade that is the lowest of the eight buildings. (Average increase is 3.06%/year for past 10 years)

For 2018, we delivered a budget with a 3.72% maintenance. Of this increase, 1.3% is for interest and mortgage amortization expense attributed to the additional borrowing for the balcony project.  The impact of this expense to the operating budget is most noticeable in 2018 as the costs will already be accounted for in future years. 

Aside from the 1.3%, the remaining increase of 2.42% was almost entirely due to increases in real estate taxes. The Cooperative employs a real estate tax attorney to maintain pressure on the City to keep our tax assessment as low as possible.  As I indicated before, this board is very proactive when it comes to ensuring we keep our expenses as low as possible, while still providing a high level of shareholder services and building operations.

We are currently working with Mark & Jose on updating our multi-year capital plan. Aside from the current balcony and façade work and based on the numerous capital projects we have already completed over the past few years, we don’t expect new major capital projects in our near future, except refurbishing the hallways at some point.

It should be emphasized that all our recent capital improvements have been funded from the proceeds of the building’s refinanced low-interest mortgage.  For these capital improvements, such as the lobby, the roof, the gym, the elevators, the driveway, etc., there has been no impact on shareholder maintenance.  For the balcony/façade work, the impact was minimal.

As I said earlier, prudent financial management has kept our maintenance increases quite low over the last several years. 

Thank you

At this point the floor was opened for questions.  

Numerous questions and comments were raised, and a lively discussion ensued.

Nomination of Director Candidates

We then proceeded to vote on the item referred to in the notice of annual meeting and proxy statement.  Seven incumbent directors are standing for re-election.

President: The candidates are, in alphabetical order:

  • Eleanor Applewhaite
  • Abigail Burns
  • Larry Chaifetz
  • Marc Donner
  • Robert Stein
  • Ernie Sander
  • Stuart Sugarman

In accordance with the offering plan, the sponsor is exercising its right to designate one member in addition to our seven.

These 7 candidates were nominated, and nominations were then closed.

With nominations closed, and having no opposing candidates, the 7 candidates were elected by acclamation.

With elections complete and having no other formal business on the agenda, a motion to adjourn this meeting was passed and we then proceeded to the general Q&A.

Again, a lively discussion was held, several follow items were noted, and the meeting was adjourned at about 8:50PM.

2018 Maintenance Letter

posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:06 AM by Marc Donner

Dear Fellow Shareholders:


The Board, supported by its accountant and management staff, has recently completed its financial projections for year-end 2017 and has adopted an operating budget for 2018.  205 West End will finish this year with a small operating deficit.  The Board and management continue to focus on conservative financial operation and diligence to manage the building’s finances as prudently and effectively as possible.


We appreciate all residents’ patience as the balcony project is in process.  As noted previously, this project is estimated to cost $3.8 million.  To date, the actual costs are in-line with the estimated budget.  It was announced at the Annual and Informational Shareholder meetings earlier this year that the project is being funded from a combination of reserves and additional borrowing ($2 million) on our current mortgage.  This method of funding was chosen as it creates the least financial impact on shareholders monthly.


For 2018, shareholders can expect a 3.72% maintenance increase (for a total of $3.9932 per share per month).  Of this increase, 1.3% is for interest and mortgage amortization expense which is attributed to the additional borrowing for the balcony project.  The impact of this expense to the operating budget is most noticeable in 2018 as the costs will already be accounted for in future years.  Detailed financial breakdown follows.


Year-end analysis of projected 2017 expenses; explanation of 2018 increases


As always, many of the Cooperative’s expenses are not under the board and management’s direct control.  Labor costs are set by union contracts, insurance rates are dictated by carriers, energy prices by the market, and taxes, water, and sewer charges by the city.  That said, we make every effort to control other costs as best as possible.  Final numbers for 2017 are still to be confirmed. They will be audited by our accountant and reviewed with you at our annual shareholders’ meeting in the Spring.  Here is how 2017 looks thus far, along with our budget projections for 2018:


Mortgage Interest and Amortization – budgeted for 2017 at $1,406,400 is projected to end the year at $1,480,000.  This increase of $73,600 is for the costs associated with the $2 million loan for the balcony project incurred in 2017, which the Board absorbed into the operating budget and did not pass on to shareholders.  In 2018, the budget for this expense is expected to be $1,535,900 or $129,500 more than the expense budgeted for 2017 which reflects a full year of expense associated with the $2 million loan or 1.3% of the 2017 forecasted budget.


Real Estate Taxes - budgeted for 2017 at $5,460,000 is projected to end the year at $5,406,000, 1.0% under budget.  In 2018 we expect to pay real estate taxes of about $5,712,700, an increase of 4.6% over last year’s budget, and a major driver of this year’s maintenance increase.


Energy (steam, electricity and co-gen gas) was budgeted at a combined cost of $1,197,100 for 2017.  While final bills are still to be presented, the projected energy expenditures in these categories are forecast in 2017 to be approximately $1,364,900 or 14% above budget which also has a large impact on our 2017 finances.  The largest drivers of this increase are as follows:

  1. Steam – average cost per unit increased from $27.16 to $29.91 from 2016 to forecast 2017 while consumption stayed relatively flat (total cost in 2016 of $670,795 compared to 2017 forecast of $743,000).  For 2018, the Board through consultation with the accountant and management has budgeted the average cost per unit to be $28.23 which is more aligned with current pricing expectations (2018 budget of $700,000).

  2. Electricity – budgeted for 2017 at $400,000 is projected to end the year at $506,000, an increase of 26.5%.  For 2018, the Board through consultation with the accountant and management has locked in our delivery and supply costs at $476,300 based on our projected consumption which is a savings from forecast 2017 of $29,700 or 5.9%.

  3. Co-gen Gas– budgeted for 2017 at $164,300 is projected to end the year at $115,900, a decrease of 29.5%.  For 2018, the Board through consultation with the accountant and management has locked in our delivery and supply costs at $107,800 based on our projected consumption, which is a savings from forecast 2017 of $8,100 or 7.00%.


The Board continues to review our energy costs very closely to manage them as cautiously as possible.  Aggregate energy spending for 2018 is budgeted at $1,284,100.  The projected increase of 7.3% over 2017’s budget is speculative but based on consultation with the accountant and AKAM’s Energy Department the Board is trying to estimate this as accurately as possible.

Note:  Each year we remind shareholders that while we have sub-metered the Cooperative, the budget for the Condominium must reflect the entire electrical payments to our suppliers so that our bills get budgeted, paid, and booked properly.  Due to sub-metering, only about 35% of the building’s electrical consumption (that which services the common areas like the lobby, hallways, elevators, stairways, and garage) is applied to our maintenance calculations.  The remaining 65% of our electrical usage is paid directly by tenants and shareholders according to measured consumption, and does not affect maintenance charges.


LTCA Dues – budgeted for 2017 at $683,100, the 2018 budget is $697,400 for an increase of 2.09%.


Staff Payroll (wages, benefits, payroll taxes, workers compensation, and disability insurance) – will be going from a forecast of $1,487,500 in 2017 to a projected budget of $1,539,000 for an increase of 3.5%.


Maintenance and Repairs remain within reasonable expectations.  Our anticipated expenditures in 2017 were budgeted at $392,600 and are projected to be $383,000, which is about 2.4% below our budget.  Based on recommendations from our Resident Manager and AKAM, we are budgeting $378,500 for 2018.


Water and Sewer - budgeted for 2017 at $315,500 is projected to end the year at $352,700 for an increase of 11.8% which is partially attributed to the balcony construction project and increase in the cost by the city.  Our forecast for 2018 is $325,000 which is more aligned with our historical consumption at current rates.


Along with all other New York City Cooperatives, given the increases in real estate tax, labor, and utilities, we are facing a maintenance increase for the year beginning January 1, 2018.  As in previous years, we will be recouping some of the increased operating costs by holding back the NYC real estate tax rebate due most shareholders in the first quarter of 2018.  You will see a credit/debit journal entry on your June statement.  From an accounting standpoint this is treated as an operating assessment, and thus has no impact on maintenance.

The Board has consistently tried to be both prudent in our expenditures and to make full use of opportunities to contribute to our building’s overall financial health.  This includes reducing costs whenever and wherever possible.  205 West End Avenue remains one of the most conservatively managed buildings in the Lincoln Towers complex, measured by maintenance increases, maintenance per share, general balance sheet, and capital improvement measures.

The Board would formally like to thank Jeffrey Allister for his many years of service and dedication to our community upon his resignation from the Board.  He has been a valued partner and advocate during his tenure.  


We appreciate your ongoing confidence and support for the Board.  The entire Board wishes you and your families a very good holiday season and a happy and healthy 2018.

Stuart Sugarman, President
Robert Stein, Treasurer

Smoking Policy Update

posted Dec 8, 2017, 6:33 AM by 205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation

To comply with the recently amended Local Law 147 of the City of New York (Section 17-502 of the administrative code), the Board has implemented the follow smoking policy, effective immediately.  This clarifies existing smoking policy in accordance with City regulations, and does not represent a substantial change in building policy.
  1. Smoking is prohibited in all of the common areas of the building, including, but not limited to, the elevators, hallways, stairways, lobby, courtyards and rooftops.
  2. Smoking is also prohibited outside on the building’s property within 20 feet of the building’s entrance.
  3. No person shall smoke in the areas where smoking is prohibited by this rule, nor permit smoking by any occupant, agent, tenant, invitee, guest, friend, or family member in such areas.
  4. Smoking is permitted inside residents’ individual units, but such residents shall not allow, and shall take reasonable steps to prevent, secondhand smoke from passing into neighboring units or common areas of the building. Smoking in violation of this rule may constitute a nuisance pursuant to the terms and provisions of the 205 West End House Rules.
  5. The Board reserves the right to impose appropriate measures on a case-by- case basis, including requiring that an apartment be sealed or that smoking inside an apartment be restricted, in response to complaints of secondhand smoke passing from such apartment into neighboring units or common areas of the building.
  6. The term ‘smoking’ includes carrying, burning, or otherwise handling or controlling any lit, smoldering, or electronic product containing tobacco or cloves, including but not limited to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping devices, cigars, or pipes.
The House Rules have been updated to incorporate this policy. The most up-to-date version of the House Rules can be found on the 205 West End website (http://www.205westend.com/).

The Board thanks you for your compliance to this policy.

Status of Local Law 11 / Balcony Refurbishment Project

posted Nov 27, 2017, 7:01 AM by 205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 7:02 AM ]

November 27, 2017

At a recent project meeting, the management and board reviewed the remaining work elements.  Based on where we are now and on weather forecasts, we no longer expect the project to be completed in 2017.  We are extremely disappointed in this outcome.  Here are the details:

SCHEDULED WORK FOR THE REST OF 2017: NORTH & SOUTH ELEVATIONS

·       Complete concrete fascia replacement on all balconies,

·       Complete stripping the forms from all balconies,

·       Complete scarifying the surfaces on all balconies.

SCHEDULED WORK FOR JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

·       Install expansion joints at the centers of the J/V and H/U balconies.

SCHEDULED WORK TO BEGIN MARCH/APRIL 2018

The last three (3) items that will remain for the spring of 2018, once weather permits, will be:

1.     The fascia and underside coatings,

2.     The topside traffic deck coating,

3.     The railing and partition installation.

The first item to be conducted will be the balcony fascia and underside coating.  Since this is temperature sensitive, the work cannot be started until temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees (including overnight temperatures).  Each balcony fascia and underside will receive two (2) coats of paint. 

The second item to be conducted will be the topside traffic deck coating.  This is the covering for the walking surface of each balcony.  Because the process is temperature sensitive the work cannot be started until the contractor is confident that temperatures will be above 40 degrees for a minimum of five (5) straight days.  Each deck will receive four (4) layers of coating. 

The final item on all the balconies will be the installation of the new railings and partitions.  These will be installed, set in grout, and waterproofed.

The estimated time for completion of each item in the Spring of 2018 is as follows:

1)    Installation of fascia and underside coatings -15 working days,

2)    Installation of Traffic Deck System - 40 working days,

3)    Installation of Railings and Partitions - 20 working days.

 

With a full complement of workers on site, the contractor will need 75 working days to complete the project once temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees.  With this schedule in mind, the project will be completed by the end of June.  

Once the balcony railings have been installed and the balconies have been approved by the building engineer they will be opened to shareholders.  Based on NYC DOB protocols, the sidewalk bridge will need to remain in place until the Amended 8th Cycle Local Law Report is accepted by the DOB. 

In the event there are favorable temperatures (above 40 degrees) in the months of December, January, or February, the contractor will conduct some of the coating work to help accelerate the schedule as best they can.  They are leaving the scaffolds in place for this reason, but they will be fully secured and safe when not in use.     

IN CONCLUSION

The Board had intended that this project be finished this season.  It is unfortunate that between delays with the DOB, rain, unexpectedly cold temperatures, in addition to misestimation by our contractor, we have run out of time.

We apologize for any inconvenience this delay has, and will, cause.  If there is anything our AKAM Management office can do to help alleviate this inconvenience, please reach out to Mark Weil.

House Rules – Balcony Update; New Board Member

posted Nov 8, 2017, 5:57 PM by Marc Donner   [ updated Nov 10, 2017, 5:24 AM ]

Successor to Jeffrey Allister on the Board: Ernie Sander
At its recent meeting the Board interviewed candidates who had responded to the notice of Jeffrey Allister’s announced intention to retire from the board as of the end of 2017.
After interviewing the candidates and an extensive discussion, the board has asked Ernie Sander to succeed Jeffrey Allister when he vacates his seat at the end of December.
Ernie Sander has lived in 205 for the past four years along with his wife and children, aged 9 and 11. He grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts (the board did NOT inquire as to his views on the Yankees and the Red Sox) and studied journalism at Colby College and Northwestern University Graduate School of Journalism.
Ernie has had a career in media over several decades, occupying managerial and leadership roles in companies big and small, including the Wall Street Journal. He has extensive experience in communications, a specialty of which the board expects to take advantage in the coming years.
The Board thanks Jeffrey Allister for his years of service
The Board extends its warmest thanks to Jeffrey Allister for his many years of service to the 205 community. In his time on the board, including the many years that he served as the Treasurer, Jeffrey worked tirelessly to keep expenses and hence maintenance increases down. It is thanks to his efforts that 205’s maintenance increases over the last decade have been the lowest in Lincoln Towers.
House Rules – Balcony Update
As promised, the board has reviewed the House Rules governing balconies in line with the balcony restoration project currently under way. A revised set of House Rules have been posted to the 205 West End website (205westend.com) on the page named Rules.

The Board strongly urges you to read these House Rules relative to the balconies (Section #9) before returning any of your possessions onto your balcony.

Balcony/Facade Project Update

posted May 19, 2017, 6:14 PM by Marc Donner

Removal of Railings and Use of AC’s:

According to the workplan, removal of the South Side railings will begin Monday, May 22nd, 2017 (weather permitting). This means there will be a great deal of noise, and dust generated. As discussed at the Informational meeting, air conditioners will be covered with an external filter to prevent this dust from getting into your AC’s.

You  will be able to use your AC’s during this period, but they may operate slightly less effectively. We recommend that if at all possible you do  not run the AC closest to the work area while work is ongoing.  When work has been performed on that balcony, the contractor will vacuum these filters at the end of each day to improve their efficiency,  Only AC’s over the balconies will be impacted.

No Access to Playground:

The DOB reviewed the safety plans for this project and designated the playground and part of the grassy area “no access. This means that no one will be allowed in this area at any time until the South Side balconies are completed. However, access to the rest of the park space (grassy areas, basketball area, etc.) will be available for use.  Work on the South Side of the building is expected to be completed near the end of August.

We are aware that this closure affects many Lincoln Towers residents, but unfortunately this was out of our hands. We originally thought the playground would be designated as “limited access”, allowing for access after work hours. On Wednesday May 17th, it was officially brought to our attention that the DOB has designated it as “no access”. We are truly sorry for this inconvenience.  Had we known in advance, we would have communicated this much earlier.

Limited Access to West End Parking Lot:

The parking lot on the West End has been designated as “limited access”. This means that when work is going on, there is absolutely no access in or out of the parking lot. When no work is being performed during evenings and weekends, the parking lot can be opened.  However, there will be times that Xinos Construction will be working after 5pm and on Saturdays to complete the job on schedule.

North Side Balconies:

Based on our current schedule, North Side mobilization will begin June 26th . If we are on schedule, all items need to be removed from the North Side balconies at that point. Thus there will be an overlap of work being performed on both sides of the building to make up for the delayed start caused by the Department of Buildings in getting our permits.

Status Updates:

We will post regular status updates for this project.  Thank you for your patience during this work.

205 West End Avenue Owners Corp. Cooperative Tax Abatement and Special Assessment

posted May 15, 2017, 3:47 PM by Marc Donner   [ updated May 16, 2017, 6:06 AM by 205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation ]

Dear Shareholder:

The New York City Department of Finance has announced the various tax benefits due to Shareholders of residential co-ops for the City’s 2016/2017 fiscal year, which ends on June 30th.  The most common tax benefit is the annual Cooperative Tax Abatement, which is partial tax relief for Shareholders of cooperative units.  Sponsor units, and Shareholders who own more than three apartments in the building, are not eligible for the tax abatement. 

The amount of the tax abatement is based on the number of shares each Shareholder owns in the cooperative corporation.  In addition, based on eligibility, some Shareholders will also receive School Tax Relief (STAR), Senior Citizen Exemption (SCHE), Disability Exemption (DHE), or Veteran Exemptions. For more information on these tax exemptions, please visit the NYC Department of Finance website at: 

http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/landlords.page

Additionally, the Cooperative Tax Abatement program was modified four years ago and non-primary residences are no longer eligible for the tax abatement credit. In order to qualify for the Cooperative Tax Abatement, your apartment must be your primary residence. For cooperatives that assess against the tax abatement, the assessment for non-primary residents will not be offset by a tax credit.

As has been the case in prior years, the Board of Directors has determined to implement a one-time special assessment, on a per share basis, that will approximate the amount of the Cooperative Tax Abatement (for those who are eligible).  This decision will help offset increases in the operating costs of the corporation.  Based on these abatement figures, the assessment will be $4.2864 per share.  The 2016/17 tax benefits(s), and the relevant operating assessment, will be reflected on your June maintenance statement. 

Please note that if you receive any credits in addition to the Cooperative Tax Abatement (such as STAR, SCHE, DHE, or Veteran), then your operating assessment will be slightly higher than the Cooperative Tax Abatement.  This is due to the fact that the City reduces the amount of the abatement credit when additional benefits are applied; however, the total amount of credits will be more than the assessment (resulting in a net credit).

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.  I can be reached at (212) 580-5600.

Sincerely,

Mark Weil

Vice President

205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation

2017 Maintenance

posted Dec 13, 2016, 10:38 AM by 205 West End Avenue Owners Corporation

Dear Fellow Shareholders:


The Board, supported by its accountant and management staff, has recently completed its financial projections for year-end 2016 and has adopted an operating budget for 2017.  We are pleased to report that 205 West End will finish this year with a deficit of less than half a percent.  Thanks to conservative financial management and diligence, we have completed another year in good shape.  Energy budgeting for 2017 is not as certain as it will be next year because we do not yet have sufficient operating experience with our new cogeneration facility.  We have estimated that the cogeneration plant will save the Cooperative a more substantial amount in 2017.


Variances between budgets and projected year-end actual expenditures

As always, many of the Cooperative’s expenses are not under the board’s direct control.  Labor costs are set by union contracts, insurance rates are dictated by carriers, energy prices by the market, and taxes, water, and sewer charges by the city.  That said, we make every effort to control other costs.  While 2016 final numbers still have to be confirmed, and will be audited by our accountant and reviewed by you at the time of our annual shareholders’ meeting in the spring, here is how 2016 looks:

  • Real Estate Taxes, budgeted for 2016 at $ 5,154,100, are projected to end the year at $ 5,162,300, 0.2 % over budget.  In 2017 we expect to pay real estate taxes of about $ 5,460,000, an increase of 5.9 % over last year’s budget, and the major driver of this year’s maintenance increase.
  • Energy (electricity and steam) was budgeted at a combined cost of $-1,361,600 for 2016.  While final bills are still to be presented, the projected energy expenditures in these categories are forecast to be approximately $ 1,253,500, about 7.9 % below budget and the major good news in our 2016 finances.  Our new cogeneration system went online in mid-2016 and delivered savings of at least $100,000.  Aggregate energy spending for next year is budgeted at $ 1,197,100, assuming limited price inflation due to the depressed economy and falling energy prices.  The projected decrease of 12.1 % over last year’s budget is speculative, since we do not know how much gas the new cogeneration units will consume nor how much of our steam and electricity requirements it will fulfill.  If we come in close to budget, we will realize overall energy savings of about a quarter of a million dollars next year.

Note:  Each year we remind shareholders that while we have submetered the Cooperative, the budget for the Condominium must reflect the entire electrical payments to our suppliers so that our bills get budgeted, paid, and booked properly.  Due to submetering, only about 35% of the building’s electrical consumption (that which services the common areas like the lobby, hallways, elevators, stairways, and garage) is applied to our maintenance calculations.  The remaining 65% of our electrical usage is paid directly by tenants and shareholders according to measured consumption, and does not affect maintenance charges.

  • Insurance - We are budgeting a 2.6 % increase for 2017 at $ 273,000.  Note that the 2016 forecast of $ 262,500 is about 1.4 % below the 2016 budget of $ 266,200.
  • LTCA Dues will increase relative to 2016 budget of $ 663,200 to $ 683,100, an increase of about 3 %.
  • Staff Payroll - wages, benefits, workers compensation, and disability insurance – will be going from $ 1,470,300 in 2016 to $ 1,542,700 in 2017, an increase of 4.9 %.  The bulk of this increase is driven by changes to benefits, driven by contractual obligations.
  • Maintenance and Repairs remain within reasonable expectations.  Our anticipated expenditures in 2016, budgeted at $ 400,000 will be coming in at $-390,400, about 2.4 % below our budget.  Based on recommendations from our Resident Manager and AKAM, we are budgeting $ 392,600 for 2017, a decrease of 1.9 %.
  • Water and Sewer were budgeted at $ 312,000 for 2016 and are budgeted at $-315,500 for 2017, an increase of 1.1 %.  Our forecast for 2016 is $ 309,300, about 0.9 % below budget.
  • Mortgage Interest and Amortization: these are determined by our mortgage, which we refinanced in 2014, and are budgeted and forecast at $ 1,406,400.

In summary: For 2017, shareholders can expect a 2.29 % maintenance increase (for a total of $ 3.87 per share per month).


Along with all other New York City Cooperatives, given the increases in real estate tax, labor, and utilities, we are facing a maintenance increase for the year beginning January 1, 2017.  As in previous years, we will be recouping some of the increased operating costs by holding back the NYC real estate tax rebate due most shareholders in the first quarter of 2017.  You will see a credit/debit journal entry on your March statement.  From an accounting standpoint this is treated as an operating assessment, and thus has no impact on maintenance.


From the start, we have tried to be both prudent in our expenditures and to make full use of opportunities to contribute to our building’s overall financial health.  This includes reducing costs whenever and wherever possible.  205 West End Avenue remains one of the most conservatively managed buildings in the Lincoln Towers complex, measured by maintenance increases, maintenance per share, general balance sheet, and capital improvement measures.

We appreciate your confidence and support.


On a personal note, an increase in my responsibilities at work has led me, in conversation with the rest of the Board, to assess my ability to sustain my obligations as President and to conclude that the interests of the Cooperative would best be served by my standing down from the role of President.  The Board has accepted my decision and has elected Stuart Sugarman to assume the responsibilities of President commencing on 1 January 2017.  I will continue to serve the Cooperative as a Board member.


The entire Board joins me in wishing you and your families a very good holiday season and a happy, healthy 2017.


Sincerely,


Marc Donner, President


Board of Directors

  • Jeffrey Allister

  • Eleanor Applewhaite

  • Abigail Burns

  • Larry Chaifetz

  • Marc Donner

  • Robert Stein

  • Stuart Sugarman

Upgrading the Laundry Rooms

posted Jul 27, 2016, 10:59 AM by Marc Donner

We are pleased to announce that the Laundry Room upgrade will commence on Monday August 8th. 

The West Laundry Room will close on Monday August 8th and will reopen on Sunday August 14th.  During this time the East Laundry Room will remain open.

On Monday August 15th the East Laundry Room will close and will reopen on Sunday August 21st.  During this time the refurbished West Laundry Room will be in service.

Commencing August 1st the Management Office will be distributing new $5.00 laundry cards.  The exiting laundry company will reimburse any money left on their cards for 30 days.  They can be reached at 877-264-6622.

We appreciate your cooperation during this time. And hope you enjoy the new Laundry faculties. 

Annual Shareholders’ Meeting Recap

posted May 18, 2016, 6:14 AM by Marc Donner

Regular Business

The meeting followed its standard course, documented in the formal minutes of the corporation.


We heard a report from the building’s accounting firm which noted that the Cooperative’s finances are sound.


The President’s summary of the past year included a list of events and completed projects:

  • Retirement of Resident Manager Martin Finneran and succession by new Resident Manager Jose Anderson,

  • Cogeneration replacement complete and online,

  • Roof replacement project final completion,

  • Driveway resurfacing project completed,

  • Balcony repair and code compliance work started,

  • Gym renovation planned and poised for completion,

  • LTCA has replaced the protective padding around the playground behind 205,

  • We have concluded a new contract with the cleaners who operate in the 205 Lobby,

  • We have signed a contract with a new operator for the Laundry Room, to take effect around June.


The slate of directors, being unopposed, was reelected by acclamation in the final formal act of the annual meeting.


Q&A

During the informal Q&A the following questions were raised:

  • Our website (www.205westend.com) is not open for public comments.  We referred the shareholder to the Building Link site for the building, which is open for comments.

  • What services does LTCA provide?  205’s LTCA representative, Larry Chaifetz, will produce a summary of LTCA services for distribution to shareholders.

  • Some complaints about the state of hallway wallpaper were raised.  We referred the shareholder to the management office and resident manager to schedule maintenance work.

  • Some complaints about drafts from windows during the winter were raised. We referred the shareholder to the management office and resident manager to schedule maintenance work.

  • Questions were asked about making a fairer distribution of bike room and storage room capacity.  We reported on a Board initiative to review all of the basement space with Management and develop an overall plan.

  • A shareholder requested that entry through the rear of the building be enabled.  The board reported that it regularly reviews the security implications and costs of such a change with LTCA Security and has decided not to open the back in this way.

  • A shareholder complained that non-emergency water shutdown notices were not received with adequate notice.  Management noted that they are published in the lobby, on Building Link, and by door-to-door delivery.

  • A shareholder noted that water pressure on the 29th floor was inadequate.  Management will investigate.

A shareholder complained that there was warm or hot water coming from the cold taps recently.  Mr Anderson noted that during a recent incident a plumber, unfamiliar with our systems, had incorrectly opened a valve to create this condition.  He noted that it had subsequently been corrected.

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