State of the Association

Posted on Sat, 10/01/2016 - 12:30pm

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel Molins Another year.

Do you have the same impression that I have? Years seem to fly.

This last year we had again a number of challenges. The most important was, of course, the modernization of our elevators. I do not know about you, but in my case it has been a lot less painful than I had feared. I hope that you are as pleased as I am with the result. The Architecture & Aesthetics Committee has to be congratulated for a job well done.

The Security & Life Safety Committee, together with management, managed the work necessary to get our building to meet all the requirements of the High Rise Life Safety Evaluation Ordinance in effect in the City of Chicago. A few months ago the City inspector and the Fire Department approved our building. Many other condominiums in Chicago have not yet passed the final City inspection. In connection with this project, more than 500 smoke detectors were installed in the water heater closets throughout the building and next to the elevators.

Throughout the year, management has handled a variety of projects, such as the replacement of water pumps in the Pump Room in the lower floor, major repairs of the air handlers in the hallways, major repairs of the Lobby and lower-level HVAC units and replacement and relocation of the Captain’s Walk north HVAC unit.

Management has also handled the replacement of several Commonwealth Edison transformers that were not working, as well as the restoration of the water drains in the garage.

During the year, both the garage hikers’ break room and the Malibu East employees’ break room have been renovated.

I have mentioned these projects just to make you aware of the many projects that need to be taken care of even though we do not see them.

In a building that is 45 years old, one can expect that continuous repairs are necessary. If the building has concrete and large balconies and is located next to a very big lake and in Chicago with the relatively extreme temperatures that can be as high as 95 to 100 in the summer and minus 20 in the winter, the problem is even greater. Based on the studies and analysis of several engineering firms, we will have to start a very comprehensive program of repairing the facades and the balconies. It is possible, but not certain, that the work may start this fall with repairs on the west wall (the wall facing Sheridan Road).

The remainder of the work will be done during the next three to four years, and the engineers will inform us in the next few months on how they plan to implement the work. We understand that they will try to repair first those areas that have the more serious problems.

Unfortunately, this work will preclude us from using the balconies whenever the work is being done on the tiers where our units are located. This façade work will include the area on Sheridan Road next to the Captain’s Walk where, as some of you may have noted, there is water infiltration whenever there is a big rainfall.

We are also about to start the process of working on the bathrooms in the Captain’s Walk to make them wheelchair-accessible.

We also expect to be able to start the work to provide the Captain’s Walk with a fire safety exit capability on the east side of the hallway leading to the boat dock. Once we have the staircase in place to reach the boat dock, the Board, with the advice of the owners, will determine the best possible use of that large area next to the lake.

As you already know, we have purchased and sold several units and renovated some of the units we purchased. We have continued to lease those units that we own. Vice president Tom Vaughan will provide a comprehensive report on this matter.

We continue to look at and plan how we can modernize areas of the building, such as the Windjammer Room and the Lobby, and will continue to tackle repairs as needed.

The Association is financially strong and continues to have very healthy reserves. Our biggest expense as we move into the future is clearly the façade and balcony repairs. Unfortunately, it is also the most annoying one since it affects the use of our balconies and the areas on the fourth-floor deck.

There are many other projects that are being undertaken and planned, but I will stop here. The committees will make you aware of some of these other projects. In any case, I assure you that we are not bored and that there is always something that is going on.

Many thanks for your support and your very useful comments and, at times, criticisms. They are always very helpful so that we do the best for the building.