State of the Building

Posted on Sun, 10/05/2014 - 1:59pm

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel MolinsAnother year of feverish activity. As you know, our building is now 43 years old. As a result, lots of areas need to be redone or repaired. During the last 12 months, there have been a lot of projects. You have seen some of them and experienced also the consequences; others did not affect you, but they were equally important.

The main purpose of my presentation is to give you an overall view of the work done and in progress and a status of the Condominium. The other officers of the Condominium and the chairs of the committees will give you a more detailed report on some of the projects, and during the question-and-answer period, we will be happy to try to answer any questions you may have.

Let us review some of the projects you have seen.

The Laundry Room has been completely redone. You have seen the new appliances and the renovated room. You did not see, however, all of the work done to increase the electric capabilities of the room, as well as the upgrade of the water removal system. These two projects represent a substantial improvement of the Laundry Room and allowed us to install more washers and dryers with greater capacities.

The voice communication system required by the City ordinances has been installed and has passed the City inspection. After a good amount of looking at the options, we were able to find a way to hide the cables so that the aesthetics of the halls would not be affected. I hope that you will agree that it was quite successful. In other condominiums that we visited, you can see the cables throughout the halls. We now have a viable one-way communication system (as well as a two-way system in the stairwell) to be used by the Fire Department in case it is needed. Let’s hope it is not.

A lot of work has been done throughout the building to meet City code requirements for safety, such as the installation of hinges on all the doors, the closing of holes in water closets and the installation of emergency exit signs throughout the building. By the way, you may have been billed to close holes inside the water heater closets which we now have determined were made by the building staff. If that was your case, you will receive a credit for the cost of such repairs. The Board decided at the last meeting that in such cases the Condominium should absorb the cost.

Work is being done on the facades of the building and the balconies to meet the City requirements.

Work is being done to replace the sealant around patio doors on the balconies.

A new lighting system was installed in the garage with LED lighting, which is high-performance, luminous and energy-saving. I hope that you will agree with me that the garage looks quite nice.

The Cable Committee, which has many volunteer residents, and the Board studied the alternatives available for a new cable TV system and possible installation of an Internet bulk program for the building. After a lot of research and study, it was concluded that in order to enhance the capabilities of the building, the installation of new cables throughout the building was needed. While it affects somewhat the aesthetics of the building, I think that you will agree that its effect is minimal. I assure you that a lot of research was done to determine whether there were any better alternatives, before this solution was adopted.

Some of the projects that you have not seen:

Major repairs in the elevator penthouses of the building, involving both the repair of the concrete in the outside walls, as well as repairs to the roofs of the penthouses and the vents.

Major repairs of the plumbing in the Captain’s Walk, which controls the drainage from the fourth-floor deck. After major research, a way was found to repair the plumbing by installing lining in the pipes so as to avoid inconveniencing all of the tenants of the Captain’s Walk.

Improvements were made in the units purchased by Malibu East in order to get them ready for sale or lease.

We have started to work on the elevator modernization. Mechanical and aesthetics consultants have been hired, and construction specifications and drawings are being prepared. We expect that the work will start next year, one elevator at a time. It will be a painful exercise, but very much needed.

We have arranged with ComEd for the replacement of several transformers and continue to monitor their performance, as well as the performance of all other transformers.

The Captain’s Walk HVAC system is failing. We have been working on finding the best equipment and the best location for the equipment in order to increase the efficiency of the system.

Major electrical and concrete work is being done on the Sheridan Road retaining wall.

A new HVAC system has been installed in the Management Office, which hopefully will keep the office warm enough in the forthcoming winter days.

We were able to rent portions of our garage to our neighbors in El Lago and Thorndale Beach South, which were making major repairs to their own garages.

The work in preparation for building a staircase into the boat dock area is progressing. We expect that once the work is done, the boat dock will become available for use and enjoyment by all residents.

I could continue telling you about the many other projects that have kept management and the Board busy, but I think that this recitation of some of the projects done or in progress is enough. So I will spare you the rest of the projects.

The purchase and sale and/or leasing of apartments has also kept us quite busy. You will hear a report from Tom Vaughan. We are very happy with the support we have received from a great majority of the owners with respect to our program to maintain the price of the units. We believe that we have been quite successful in this endeavor and at the same time we have made and continue to make a good investment return for all the owners.

All these projects were done pursuant to a contract. So a lot of contracts have been negotiated, reviewed and revised. This is a lot of lawyer-hour bills that the Condominium has saved due to the fact that the lawyers on the Board and other Board members and management have done the negotiations, reviews and revisions.

The Condominium continues to be in a good financial condition, as will be reported to you by our treasurer, but we must continue to be vigilant. The City and the State continue to impose new and expensive requirements on all condominium associations, and we need to have a good cushion to cover emergencies, if they ever occur. The condition of our plumbing, given the age of our building, continues to be a concern. We need to be prepared, if the system fails. We also wish to continue our program to modernize and upgrade our infrastructure and facilities – for example, the Lobby and the atrium – and this can be done only if we have the funding required to do so.

The Finance Committee has been working on the budget for the next year. Dean Lerner will provide a report on the progress to date. The committee is recommending to the Board a small increase of 2%. The Board will review the proposed budget at the Board meeting that will take place two weeks from today.

Overall I think that you should be proud of the work done by management and the Board. I am. I am also very happy about the fact that the Board and its committees have worked very collaboratively, and in the process, we have been able to continue to do our best for the building with the assistance of many other owners who have volunteered to work as part of the committee structure we have in place.

Thanks for all your assistance and support.