2023 capital projects will enhance Malibu East

Posted on Wed, 02/01/2023 - 11:30am

By Sam Bullock

The 2023 budget for Malibu East includes several capital projects. The purpose of this article is to provide some information regarding the top projects and their expected value to our Association. There is no special assessment planned nor discussed to pay for these projects; the costs will be paid out of the reserve fund.

Residential Hallways – It is no secret that our residential hallways need major TLC. They were last redecorated in 2005/2006 and it is amazing that they have served us for 17 years. Our common spaces, including the hallways, are the first impression visitors and prospective buyers have of Malibu East. If we want to become the most desirable address in Edgewater, we must improve our curb appeal, inside and out.

This project is expected to be completed over three years and will include guidance from a professional design/architecture firm. Once the Aesthetics Committee has finalized its vision, the proposed designs will be shared with residents for feedback. The renovation will take place over several years and we don’t know the order in which floors will be renovated at this time, but we will do this in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The total project will cost in excess of $3 million, of which approximately $1 million will be spent in 2023.

Garage Concrete Repairs – Phase Two of the current garage concrete restoration project will commence in the warmer months. This project will be focused on repairing ceiling concrete that is cracking and spalling. The 2023 phase is expected to cost approximately $375,000 and is critical to the stability of, and long-term viability of, our garage structure.

Hallway Air Handling Units – The residential hallways are ventilated year-round and heated during the cold season by two air handling units situated on the roof, in the east and west penthouses. These air handling units are original to the building and have outlived their useful lives. The units have broken many times over the years and the repair costs continue to escalate. The Board decided it would be less expensive in the long run to replace the current units with a new boiler heating system. The west air handler will be replaced in 2023 at a cost of approximately $156,000. The east air handler will be addressed in 2025.

Key Fob System – The current key fob security system was installed in 2001 and is no longer supported by the company that developed it. If it were to crash, we would be without security until the system is either repaired or replaced – and to be honest, we aren’t sure it can be repaired considering that the electronic motherboards are no longer being fabricated. The Board decided that this is an unacceptable risk and unanimously decided to take on the replacement of this system in 2023. Not only will the replacement mitigate potential security risks, it will allow management to make more areas of the building accessible via the key fob system, eliminating many of the keys held at the front desk. The cost of replacement and enhancement is expected to be approximately $115,000.

Façade Concrete Repairs – The Board has allocated approximately $140,000 to repair known concrete issues that have been identified in certain specific locations following water infiltration that has been observed in the last year or so.

Smoke Tower Damper System – Our building includes a very important safety feature: A smoke tower exists in the west stairwell with dampers that will open in the event of a fire to extract the smoke from the building. The smoke tower is original and has not had any major renovation since the building was built. The dampers are aging and need replacement. This work will be done over four years with about 10 floors per year. The 2023 cost is approximately $57,000. Note that the smoke tower is a chimney within a bigger one (the building); it contributes to the stack effect, more every year, as the slats of the dampers are warping over time, leaving large gaps for the cold air to enter the building.

Pools – The swimming pools have deteriorated to the point where they need a major renovation. The mechanicals and some of the concrete need attention to optimize the operation of the pools. This work will most likely be completed in the autumn, at the closing of the pool season on Sept. 5, considering the limited number of reputable commercial pool contractors available in the city still having room on their calendar for new spring projects. This work is expected to cost approximately $60,000.

Roof Safety System – The parapet around the roof of our building is only one foot high and there are no ladders to access the secondary roofs of the penthouses and smoke tower. Therefore, the Board decided to install a roof safety system this year, along with safety ladders. This work is expected to cost approximately $42,000 in 2023.

Windjammer Room Update – While several updates have occurred in the Windjammer Room over the past several years, one area that hasn’t been addressed is the flooring. There is a plan to completely renovate the entire fourth-floor amenities, but that likely won’t be possible until 2028 or later. In 2023, the flooring in the Windjammer Room will be upgraded to a tough, commercial vinyl plank. This, along with other recent updates, will make this space very appealing to current and prospective residents.

Several smaller, tactical projects are also planned for 2023 with a total cost of approximately $45,000.

Our building is aging. It is imperative that we not only maintain the structure, but also the appearance and livability of our building to meet the needs of our current owners, as well as improve our value to prospective buyers.

This article addresses projects planned for 2023, but there are other prospective projects outlined in our reserve study for future years. This study was updated in 2022, and each year the Board will develop a capital budget based on that year’s immediate needs, using the reserve study as a guide. We encourage everyone to review our reserve study and become familiar with the needs of our beautiful building. The reserve study can be emailed to you; simply ask management.

Sam Bullock has been a Board member since 2017.