John Stislow: November 2010 Archives

A Note About our Google Group
Please remember that our Google Group is meant to be a forum for neighbors to connect with one another other. It doesn't replace the normal channels for contacting the board or building. If you have a question for the board or the building or the board, it's best to email at

Also, there's been a lot of moving in our building. If you know someone who's new and may not be aware of our Google Group, please encourage them to reach out to with their name and their apartment number so that we can sign them up. Similarly, if you've moved and want to be removed, you can either edit your membership on your own or email me at the address above.

New Mortgage for the Building
The board of directors has begun the process of obtaining our building's next mortgage.  We collectively own this mortgage through our ownership of shares of our building's corporation, and pay for it via about 10% of our monthly maintenance. Our existing mortgage "balloons" (the entire principal is due) at the end of this year, requiring a new mortgage to be obtained. The new mortgage will be a 10 year balloon mortgage, meaning the entire principal is due on the last day of the 10th year, with a 25 year amortization schedule, which means the principal and interest during those 10 years are calculated as if we had a 25 year mortgage. This way, the building will actually pay down the principal a little faster than we have been in the past, and prevent our building's mortgage debt from accumulating indefinitely. Our new mortgage will also be significantly larger than the principal of our last mortgage, allowing us to replenish our reserves, AND pay for the new boiler, and the leak/Local Law 11 work planned for 2011 without any assessments or maintenance increases at this time. We can afford to do all of this with little change in our annual expenses as we are very lucky to be locking in a historically-low interest rate (below 5%) for the next 10 years, during which time interest rates are expected to be increasing. The board believes the terms of this new mortgage put us on as sound a financial footing as can be given our current financial snapshot and our best educated guesses about our financial future from today's perspective.

Fios Live in our Building
Thank you to all residents for your patience during this work.  You can sign up for your own individual cable and/or internet and/or phone plan with Verizon Fios. Their rates are competitive with Cablevision and they, in most cases, do NOT require a minimum time length of contract, regardless of the deluge of Cablevision advertisements to the contrary. Read Andrew's entry from July 28th for more info. If you have any personal experiences with Fios in our building that you would like to share, please do so by e-mailing the board at

Leak Project Update and Local Law 11 2011 Work
In an effort to save costs, we are combining the upcoming roof and 6th floor leak remediation project with our next cycle of Local Law 11 roof and facade repair work. An engineer has finished his plans and is about to give us a list of itemized repairs that we can use to solicit bids from potential contractors. We'll keep you updated as this process moves forward. It will include the construction of a "sidewalk bridge" like the one you may currently notice in front of 1818 Newkirk Avenue.

Boiler Asbestos has Been Abated
We are currently getting our hot water from the heater in our garden, and it seems to be providing hot water at plenty of pressure. The boiler is off line and all asbestos has been removed from the insulation in our boiler room. We are in contract with "Positive," our boiler contractor. Our new boiler should be on-line in time for the the 2010-2011 winter heating season.

White Roof Being Explored
The board is currently investigating the potential benefits of a "white roof." After the leak repairs and Local Law 11 work is done, we may be able to extend the life of our existing roof membrane by painting all 14,000 square feet with a primer and top coat of specialty white-roof paint that includes small glass beads that insulates our roof from the heat that gets past the reflective white surface, significantly cooling our roof and lowering the cost of our upper floor residents' air conditioning. Stay tuned for more information about this potential money-saving environmentally healthy project.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors only. They do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of the 616 East 18 St. Owners Corporation, any of its staff members or residents, or Maxx Management.

This page is a archive of recent entries written by John Stislow in November 2010.

John Stislow: April 2010 is the previous archive.

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