State of the Association

Posted on Mon, 10/01/2018 - 12:30pm

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel Molins Another year and counting. Again management and the Board have been very busy with all sorts of projects and issues. My job is to provide you with an overview of the projects and the status of the Association. The chairs of the committees will provide greater detail on some of the projects, activities and future endeavors.

You all have suffered, some more than others, with the noise and the inconvenience resulting from the repairs and maintenance work being done on the façades and the balconies. Given the age of the building, the need for the repairs is quite understandable. One only needs to walk around Sheridan Road or downtown to see that many buildings have the same problem. This year, we encountered a problem with the façade of the business center. It had not been properly constructed and it has to be completely redone as you may have seen. We discovered also that the west wall of the tower, the one on Sheridan Road, has some potential major issues. The chair of the committee, Carl Chadek, will give you a full report.

Since its inception, the building has had a major stack effect, both in the tower and the garage. It becomes very evident during the winter and on days of strong winds. Based on a study requested by the Board, we have been implementing measures to reduce the stack effect and will continue to do so.

Another study, this one of the seawall and boat dock, uncovered the fact that major repairs were required to stabilize the area. We are in the bidding process for this work, together with the construction of the staircase at the east end of the business center in order to comply with the city’s requirement to have an emergency exit door at the east side of the business center. The business center now has women’s and men’s restrooms, which are ADA-compliant. Some of the columns in the garage, as well as the control joints that bind the tower with the garage, which is basically a separate building, also need repairs.

The lower level, especially near the Receiving Room, has at times awful odors. We have been looking into ways of placing some of the dumpsters outside on the loading dock in order to mitigate the odors.

We have been working also on enhancing the ventilation of the hallways. Some of you may have noted some improvement.

We have continued the process of installing LED lighting throughout the building, particularly in the storage rooms, the stairwells and the business center.

We now have electric vehicle charging stations in the garage.

As some of you may have experienced, the kitchens of some of the units have a plumbing vent stack problem due to rusting. The problem is being addressed and we are attempting to use a proactive repair process for all tiers.

Is your head, by now, turning around or going numb? Well, we are not quite finished. I will, however, spare you from having to listen to all the other repair projects and focus on some of the plans we have for the future.

After interviewing several landscaping and urban design architects a number of times, we are ready to start the modernization of the exterior of the building. Next year, the Board is planning to modernize and enhance the atrium. The Board believes that our main entrance, both to the Lobby and the garage, needs to be improved in order to make our building substantially more attractive.

The Board is also of the view that the Lobby, the garage entrance and the other common areas of the building need to be touched up, modernized and enhanced. As to the Lobby, the Board does not believe that any basic changes are appropriate. It simply needs to be brought up to date. On the other hand, the fourth floor, including the Windjammer Room and the exercise rooms, could be improved substantially. As to these issues, we are simply at the discussion level.

The satellite TV and internet contracts we have for the building terminate in the second half of next year. So we will have to decide what to do next.

We have been involved in a myriad of other issues, such as buying and selling units, and the renovation of units purchased by the Association that required repairs, some of them substantial, in order to be able to sell them at market prices or rent them, whichever was considered more appropriate by the Board. The leasing and renovation of spaces in the business center, as well as dealing with issues and conflicts among the tenants, has also taken some of our time. The review of contracts with potential architects for the various projects and construction contracts is also part of our job. We have reviewed the Rules and Regulations to deal with issues that the building has faced and are not properly regulated. We have dealt with admissions issues. We have prepared budgets for the building. We could go on and on, but I believe that I have chastised you enough. In any case, the chairs of the different committees will give you a more in-depth presentation of some of these issues.

To conclude, I would only like to mention that the Board has not yet decided whether there should be a small increase in the assessments or none at all. Given the many issues that are confronting us, a small increase would appear reasonable, but no decision has been made. The last few years, we have been lucky that through the purchase and sale of units, we have been able to bring substantial profits to the Association, but this bonanza may not last forever. In spite of the litany of projects and undertakings I have given you, I believe that the building is doing very well.

It is a fact that we are facing major undertakings to enhance the image and the looks of the building and the business center, and unfortunately these endeavors cost a lot of money.

Thanks for your patience.