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.

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.

The New Cogens - Backup Generation At Last

posted Mar 14, 2016, 1:26 PM by Marc Donner   [ updated Apr 12, 2016, 6:43 PM ]

History

205 West End started its first cogeneration project in 2003, prompted by a program from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) to encourage installation of such systems by underwriting part, about half, of the capital cost of installation.

When it went live, several years later, our Cooperative was the first residential building in New York State with a cogeneration facility.  It was a cutting edge project that entailed a substantial effort to engineer for and properly manage heat, noise, and maintenance.

The system proved successful, providing a substantial portion of the electricity we consumed, all of the hot water, and a large amount of the steam used to heat the building in the cold part of the year.  The savings from the cogeneration system amounted to more than a million dollars during the life of the system.

In 2014 our original cogeneration units broke down in two separate incidents.  Our engineering advisors recommended that we replace them rather than repair them, so we embarked on a project to evaluate bidders and ultimately selected Tecogen as our provider.

Funding for the replacement comes from NYSERDA, from an insurance reimbursement for the failed units, and from the Cooperative’s capital fund.  The new cogeneration units will go into service in the very near future.

There are a number of substantial advances in this installation compared to the original.

Operational simplicity

The new cogeneration equipment will be connected on-line to a Tecogen facility that will monitor it continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  This generation of equipment is off-the-shelf and standardized, making both operation and maintenance far easier and far less expensive than our first system.  This will result in fewer demands on our staff.

Backup generator capability

This system, unlike previous generations, is capable of continuing to produce electricity during a blackout.  The capacity of the system is not adequate to power the entire building in the event of a blackout, but it can power safety-critical facilities in the building so long as natural gas continues to flow.  We will use it to power these items:

Elevators

·       One elevator on each side of the building will be powered.

Water

·       Water to floors above 6 comes from tanks on the roof.  The water pumps that keep the tanks full will be powered by the backup capability, ensuring our water supply during a major blackout.

Public spaces

·       Lobby, hallways, and stairway lights.

Shareholder Information Meeting Recap

posted Mar 10, 2016, 4:47 AM by Marc Donner

The Board and Management conducted a shareholder information meeting on January 28th.  Here is a brief summary of some of the topics covered, whether as part of the board’s presentation or in response to questions by attendees.  Present were board members Rob Stein, Larry Chaifetz, Jeffrey Allister, and Marc Donner as well as Management Executive Mark Weil and incoming Resident Manager Jose Anderson.

We introduced Jose Anderson who has since joined the staff, succeeding Marty Finneran as Resident Manager.  Jose spoke, acknowledging the warm welcome he had received from the attendees and touching briefly on highlights of his career to date.

Treasurer Rob Stein and assistant Treasurer Jeffrey Allister talked briefly about the constraints on the Cooperative’s budget.

Residents praised the staff’s effective work in dealing effectively with snow clearance after the blizzard that hit on January 22nd and 23rd.

Mark Weil talked about current work to ensure building code compliance by our balconies and remediation of small quantities of damaged concrete at the corners of some balconies.

We talked about the new cogeneration project, explaining that the original cogen units had failed in 2014 and that between the NYSERDA subsidy and the insurance reimbursement the Condo was providing less than half of the cost of the new system.

There were questions about the renovation work in the garage.  Neither Management nor the Board was able to provide much definitive information, since the garage owner, ACP, has not provided much information to us.  We were asked about the potential for damage to the building’s foundation, something that is not a concern both because the work is inspected by the Department of Buildings and because the garage is external to the main structure of the residence.

A shareholder asked about AirBnB.  The Board noted that many AirBnB transactions could be considered illegal under New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.  The Board reiterated that it is a violation of the proprietary lease to sublet an apartment without the Cooperative’s written consent.  In addition, the Board emphasized that the two violators caught in the past had each been heavily fined.  If you believe that there is unapproved sublet going on, please alert the Management office so that they may investigate and address the issue.

Mark Weil reported on his investigations of various recycling options for the building.  205 will soon have an electronics recycling bin, however both the compost and clothing recycling proposals were deemed impractical.  Shareholders at the meeting noted that PS 199 has a clothing recycling bin, as does 165 and 185.

Jeffrey Allister reported on ongoing work by the Gym Committee to refresh the equipment, with a status update from Mark Weil.

Martin Finneran Retiring; Shareholder Information Meeting

posted Jan 7, 2016, 3:33 PM by Marc Donner

Martin Finneran Retiring

Martin (Marty) Finneran, the Resident Manager of 205 West End Avenue for the last 50 years, told the board several months ago that he planned to retire from his position in the first quarter of 2016.

Marty and the Board hoped that he would attend the holiday party, but he was indisposed at the time of the event and was not able to attend.

This is an epochal event for the building and its residents, few if any of whom can remember any other Resident Manager.  [And, no, Marty did not build Lincoln Towers himself!]

As soon as Marty informed us of his plans to retire, the Board engaged in an extensive search for a successor. As you can imagine, it was hard to find a replacement for Marty; Marty had set the bar very high.

The board has learned some things about the role during the search process.  The title Resident Manager is distinguished from the title Superintendent by the union contract.  If the role requires the supervision of six or more employees, it is titled Resident Manager.  If it involves the supervision of five or fewer, then it is labeled Superintendent.

The Search

The Board interviewed numerous candidates, several of them multiple times.  We looked for a range of qualifications, including experience managing large cooperative residences, experience managing a substantial staff, experience with building systems, ability to work with shareholders and tenants, ability to work effectively with vendors, and good communication skills.

Jose Anderson

We recently offered the position of Resident Manager to Jose Anderson.  Mr. Anderson is currently the Resident Manager of another building in the Upper West Side.  He has extensive experience, having managed several residential properties over the past twenty-five years.

We have agreed with Mr. Anderson that he will start as our Resident Manager on February First.  Marty has agreed to help Mr. Anderson with the transition.

Regular Shareholder Q&A Session with the Board

Now that the maintenance letter is out, published on December 15 and distributed to shareholders, it is our tradition to host a Q&A session for shareholders with the board.

This meeting will take place on Thursday 28 January at 7PM in the community room.  We welcome your attendance.

2016 Maintenance Letter

posted Dec 15, 2015, 2:18 PM by Marc Donner   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 4:29 PM ]

[A paper copy of this letter will be distributed to shareholders in the immediate future.]


Dear Fellow Shareholders:


The Board, supported by its accountant and management staff, has recently completed its financial projections for year-end 2015 and has adopted an operating budget for 2016.


We are pleased to report that 205 West End will finish this year with a small deficit.  Thanks to conservative financial management and diligence, we have completed another year in good shape.


Energy budgeting for 2016 was complicated because our old cogeneration facility was out of service this year and the new one, which will enter service early in 2016, will have different operating parameters.  We have estimated that the new cogeneration plant will save the Cooperative about $275,000 in 2016.


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 2015 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 2015 looks:

Real Estate Taxes, budgeted for 2015 at $ 4,976,400, are projected to end the year at $ 4,835,200, 2.8 % under budget.  In 2016 we expect to pay real estate taxes of about $ 5,154,100, an increase of 3.6 % 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 $-1,394,400 for 2015.  While final bills are still to be presented, the projected energy expenditures in these categories are forecast to be approximately $ 1,640,300, about 17.6 % above budget.  Our new cogeneration system will be online early in 2016, so we are projecting congeneration gas in next year’s budget.  Aggregate energy spending for next year is budgeted at $ 1,361,600, assuming limited price inflation due to the depressed economy and falling energy prices.  The projected decrease of 2.3 % 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.

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) 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 0.3 % increase for 2016 at $ 266,200.  Note that the 2015 forecast of $ 258,100 is about 2.7 % below the 2015 budget of $ 265,300.

LTCA Dues will increase relative to 2015 budget of $ 649,100 to $ 663,200, an increase of about 2.2 %.

Staff Payroll - wages, benefits, workers compensation, and disability insurance – will be going from $ 1,398,500 in 2015 to $ 1,470,300 in 2016, an increase of 5.1 %.  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 2015, budgeted at $ 421,000 will be coming in at $-388,900, about 7.6 % below our budget.  Based on recommendations from our Resident Manager and AKAM, we are budgeting $ 400,000 for 2016, a decrease of 5 %.

Water and Sewer were budgeted at $ 324,000 for 2015 and are budgeted at $-312,000 for 2016, a decrease of 3.7 %.  Our forecast for 2015 is $ 308,900, about 4.7 % below budget..

Mortgage Interest and Amortization This is determined by our mortgage, which we refinanced in 2014, and is budgeted and forecast at $ 1,406,400.


In summary: For 2016, shareholders can expect a 2 % maintenance increase (for a total of $ 3.76 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, 2016.  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 2016.  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.


The entire Board joins me in wishing you and your families a very good holiday season and a happy, healthy 2016.


Sincerely,


Marc Donner, President


Board of Directors

  • Jeffrey Allister

  • Eleanor Applewhaite

  • Abigail Burns

  • Larry Chaifetz

  • Marc Donner

  • Robert Stein

  • Stuart Sugarman

Balcony Inspections

posted Sep 13, 2015, 9:35 AM by Marc Donner

To: All 205 West End residents with balconies
From: Mark Weil (mweil@akam.com)

As part of the Department of Buildings Local Law #11 mandatory façade inspection all balconies are required to be inspected by a licensed engineering firm. The building has retained Merritt Engineering to perform this inspection.

Merritt Engineering will be performing their inspection on Thursday September 17th and Friday September 18th.  They will need access to each balcony for about fifteen minutes, and will be able to inspect two balconies below at the same time.

 Please confirm your availability to provide access, if you cannot be home we can arrange for a staff member to accompany the engineer on his inspection.

If you have any questions or concerns I can be reached at +1-212-580-5600 or MWeil@akam.com.

1-10 of 51

Comments