ABO Developments - Summer 2011 - (Page 11)

Builder’s Roundtable Commissioning New Development BY DAN M ARGULIES W hat do you do when 125 out of 400 apartments are damaged by water the night before you start leasing a new building? Steven Charno of Douglaston Development had agents show the dry units and said thank you for insurance. That was one of the more striking war stories at ABO’s Builder’s Roundtable discussion on commissioning new buildings in May. Charno explained that a security guard ignored an alarm when a sprinkler head popped on the 33rd floor of his new building, and water made it all the way to the lobby. It took six months and $3 million to make repairs. The hard costs have already been paid by his insurer, but the soft costs, such as lost rent calculations, are still in negotiation. But it’s not always physical disasters that complicate opening new properties. Paul Brensilber of Jordan Cooper Management has opened thousands of new units for some of the city’s largest developers and wonders why “there is never a valve chart or plans” left for building personnel. Brensilber also emphasized the importance of running a good punch list. Some developers want to be out of a property after the temporary certificate of occupancy is issued, he said, but the developer, the construction company, and, finally, the purchaser, should all have their punch lists checked. When the purchaser’s is done, that should be the third and final step for all concerned. Zachary Kerr of JRK Development talked about nearing completion of a 51-unit building in Midwood when his construction manager walked off the job in a dispute over the cost of a minor change order. Fortunately, he had separate agreements with each of the subcontractors and was able to continue managing the project himself. Otherwise, construction would have come to a halt. Romy Goldman at Gold Development faced different issues with a 12-unit condominium project in Harlem. New owners weren’t comfortable without a super, and banks kept changing their lending criteria. She let one of the construction crews occupy a unit free during the sales phase in order to take care of the move-in issues and worked closely with lenders on end loans. Every single one was different. Charno agreed that Fannie Mae rules were changing monthly and emphasized the value of working with a good mortgage broker who understands the property. Move-in and marketing issues also added expenses for a Douglaston Development project on 11th Avenue in Manhattan, a short walk from the planned new 7 line subway station. The developer added a free shuttle service temporarily until the subway is open. It wasn’t in the budget, but it helped fi ll the apartments faster. Speaking of budgets, Brensilber noted that electrical and other energy costs were killing developer projections on new properties and had high praise for efficient new heat pump systems providing heat, air, and even hot water from rooftop units with modules in apartments. Builder’s Roundtables are a chance for ABO members to spend an hour informally learning from their peers. Future Builder’s Roundtables are planned on topics such as Department of Buildings problems and building amenities that work. ● Some develo pers want t o be out of a property af ter the tempor ary certifica te of occupancy is issued, he said, but the develop er, the cons truction company, a nd, finally, the purchaser, should all h ave their punch lists checked. W hen the purchaser’s is done, tha t should be the third and final st ep for all concern ed. Summer 2011 | 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Summer 2011

A Letter from the Executive Director
Commissioner Wambua at ABO Luncheon
The Doe Fund – Building Affordable Housing in New York City
Builders Roundtable – Commissioning New Development
Revitalized RAM Program Gets New Membership Coordinator
Index of Advertisers/Advertisers Dot Com

ABO Developments - Summer 2011