This is one of the last updates the Third + Bond bloggers will have for us.
Every condominium offering plan requires the Sponsor to schedule the first annual owner’s meeting at some point after the first closing to elect a condo board and review the issues of the building. In the good old days when prices were high in a seller’s market, buyers felt taken advantage of, the annual meeting was their first cathartic opportunity to rant and rave at the Sponsor for all sorts of indignities. We’ve had stressful first meetings and we’re-all-drinking-the-kool-aid first meetings. As we prepared for the Third + Bond owner’s meeting, we wondered, would they come bearing gifts of thanks for their beautiful homes? Would they come with pitchforks, angry that a light switch didn’t work?
We held the meeting in our largest unsold unit, thinking that you can’t beat it for location. The open living room/kitchen/foyer was perfect for fitting the 40 or so people in attendance. Over half of the units sent a representative. We’ll see what attendance is like a few years from now… and we’ll see how well the occupants like each other!
We started the meeting with the President of Lisa Management giving an introduction to the agenda, his staff, and his thoughts on the peculiarities of starting up a new building. For example: We’ve had some problems with doors that don’t shut well or shut too hard and he pointed out that these problems were unlikely to come to light before owners move in and actually use the doors day in and day out. Construction workers just prop doors open so they aren’t truly tested. It was true and well said, but did it come off as an excuse? There were no comments from the owners.
Next up, Hudson (that’s us) said a few words about how, as per the condo plan, we are sticking around both on the board and through our management company to help see the building through the transition of spanking new to gradually lived in.
Then we had the four nominees for the board – two seats to be filled by residents, three are held by Hudson – give a brief candidate’s speech. We selected election inspectors, voted, counted ballots and shared the results: it so happens that the elected persons unofficially started representing Third + Bond at some point earlier, having been written about in the news or blog about their experience as owners.
Next up we talked about committees and building issues. Two areas of interest took form through the conversation: a desire for bike storage or bike racks and a quest to improve the trash/recycling system. We added a third committee, green building, to monitor and explore how to keep the building green.
There was strong support for better bike storage. Currently, bike owners have the option of storing bikes inside their apartments or locking them up outside to a fence or post. We brainstormed ideas about off-site storage in nearby parking lots and getting bike racks installed on the sidewalk where there was not long ago a bus stop.
Trash and recycling was an item of considerable passion. Each building (typically 7-9 adult occupants) has 3 devoted cans in a brick enclosure in front of the building. Some of the residents don’t think there is enough storage even with trash pick-up twice a week and recycling once. During move-ins we store the mounds of cardboard boxes in the cellar rather than utilizing the regular bins as to not overwhelm them. The porter moves the trash and recycling around from full bins to less full bins between pickups. Still, the system is imperfect. Solutions? Ask owners to bring their trash to the curb before pickup rather than stowing it midweek in the bin? Build another bin? Produce less trash? We wait with bated breath for the committee’s recommendations.
And, finally, the green building committee. This one was our idea because we wanted a way for the LEED-Platinum and (anticipated) EnergyStar labels to continue to have meaning. Their agenda might include watching over the cleaning products, procuring wind power for common areas, etc.
Fortunately, there was no suggestion of a pitchfork committee.
As condo developers, we look forward to a time when we’ll merely point at the building in passing rather than managing callbacks for doors and the like. In the meantime, we are available to the 60 human occupants. The seven dogs, four birds and two cats are on their own.
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Our legal fine print: The complete offering terms are in an Offering Plan available from Sponsor. File No. CD080490. Sponsor: Hudson Third LLC, 826 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.