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Verizon Fios NOW LIVE in our building!

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BREAKING NEWS - As of Wednesday, July 28, 2010, you can now order Fios on line or over the phone for your apartment as an alternative to or in addition to Cablevision. I just ordered the "Double Play" TV and Internet bundle which includes NO contract. I am getting a HD DVR for my living room HD TV and a standard cable box for the SD TV in my bedroom. According to them, I will pay $75.98 for the first 3 months, $95.97 for the next 3 months, and then $105.97 for the following year and a half. Beyond that, it's probably around $129.99. All of these numbers do NOT include taxes and fees of up to $15 per month. I scheduled an appointment for August 2nd for installation, and I will report to you all how it goes at that time. The only weird snag I've hit so far, is that when the Fios website asked for my address, it automatically filled in "1 FL" for "first floor" and I had to manually change that to my proper floor number before it would actually find my unit. If you have question or experiences of your own to share, please e-mail the board at   Thanks to all of your for your patience during the installation process.  -Andrew.

Annual Shareholder Meeting and Board Election - June 1, 2010 @ 7:30pm

The annual shareholder meeting will be Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 7:30pm in the lobby. Residents will be able to discuss all matters pertaining to the building and get an update from the board in person. This is also when the board of directors for 2010-2011 will be elected. All three current members are seeking an additional 1-year term on the board. If you are interested in being a candidate for the board this year, email the board so that we can ensure we send you instructions as soon as they are available.  

Pot Luck - May 15th - In the Back Garden

Our Garden Committee has been laying down mulch, planting, and generally beautifying the grounds of our building this spring. Come enjoy the improvements and chat with your neighbors at the building's first-ever garden pot-luck on Saturday, May 15th at 5pm. E-vites have been sent out already, asking if you can come and what you can bring. But if you have not received an e-vite, please let the board know and we will send you one!!


Fios Work Continues

There will be sporadic bouts of construction in our building to complete the Fios installation over the next few weeks. The hallway conduits and the main conduit in the north stairwell is complete, and soon the wiring will commence.


Have you Seen the Hallway Designs in the Lobby?

Four design concepts for our hallway renovation project are posted in our lobby and here as a PDF for residents to review and provide optional feedback before the design is finalized and construction begins later this year. Residents are invited to email the board to let us know your preferred concept and any other feedback you have. Of course, in any building of our size, there is bound to be a wide diversity of opinions and aesthetics, so we cannot guarantee that your preferred concept will be chosen. However, we will take all feedback into consideration as we look forward to the completion of this much anticipated project.


Leak Engineer Approved

There are numerous locations on the 5th and 6th floors where roof and wall leaks are being reported. Due to the high cost of the exterior scaffolding used to perform the work, the board is attempting to contain costs by addressing all of our leaks as one large project. As was done with the large boiler replacement project, an engineer will be brought in to create a standard work specification that multiple contractors will bid on, so we can choose our contractors in an apples-to-apples way. In addition, this means that only the engineer will need to gain access to affected apartments, instead of multiple contractors. Some of you have already been visited by contractors and/or our property manager, so please be patient as the engineer will have to take a look for himself and that should be the final intrusion before the work begins later in the year. 


Laundry Income almost Double the Old Rate

Our new laundry room is bringing in an average of $800-$900 per month in revenue for our building, as compared to our old flat-rate of $500 per month. This increased income helps us keep down maintenance and other fees, and helps us to budget for the garden committee's beautification projects. The change in income is due to a more favorable 8-year contract that the board entered into last year, and our residents' continuing use of our convenient facility.


The board is presenting to you the final design concept renderings for
our Hallway Renovation Project Phase II. (Click to see the PDF of the designs)
These renderings are the result of much deliberation and a great deal
of time invested by so many (Thank You!), site visits, material
samples, and proposals to make sure that the materials shown in
these designs, and their installation can fit within the projects' budget.
We are posting these design concepts to get feedback from our
residents and shareholders about the direction we have taken.
Please take the time to examine these renderings closely, and e-mail
your comments/preferences to the board at, or
write a note to us and place in the Super's Box.

Here are some notes about the design's guiding principals:
• These are renderings. The final design may vary due to cost and availability of materials
• The overall mission of the design is to create an inviting, modern, cost-effective and durable interior space.
• LIGHT colors are being used to further brighten the hallways
• NEUTRAL but WARM colors palettes are both modern and conservative, generally appealing and inviting.
• Subtle variegated patterns add modern, timeless touches.
• Painting the door trim a different color than the doors increases the sophistication of the overall design.
• Lighter door trim helps to break up the "long-ness" of our hallways. (130 ft x 5 ft)
• Floor trim is intended to unify the floor and wall colors/designs.
• Darker floor trim can create the illusion of a wider space by relating to the colors on the carpet flooring.
• Commercial grade durable carpeting helps to reduce hallway noise and reverb/echo
• Dark floors with lighter walls also help create the look of a wider space, served to foster a residential feel, and backdrops the lighter colors and accents.
• Using a "chair-rail" or moulding divides the vertical space into two areas, adds sophistication, and adds to the illusion of a wider and more inviting hallway space. It also protects the walls from damage by acting as a bumper for carts, wheelchairs, etc.
• Using paint below the moulding allows us to inexpensively and easily repair scuffs and marks on the areas of the wall most prone to wear.

We look forward to your feedback!

The Board

March Board Updates

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New Google Group for Building Residents 
We're excited to introduce a Google Group for all building residents. Residents can now ask questions relevant to the building or neighborhood, sell or give away items, post news, by emailing If you already receive updates from the board, you've been automatically added to the group. However, note this is a closed group, so spammers or people who do not live in the building will not be able to send an email to the group. If you are a resident, but haven't been automatically added, email and please include your name and apartment number. From now on, updates from the board will be sent through this new google group. 

Verizon Fios Installation Has Begun
Verizon Fios installed some conduit from a man-hole at Foster and East 18th under the street and our sidewalk to the south side of our building. While this is the first step to have fiber-optic cable directly into our building, we anticipate three more months of work before this project is complete.

Leaks in Units?
The walls of our building near our roof, and some of the structures on our roof are showing some wear and tear. Water is getting in through various cracks, and the board is preparing a project to repair these cracks and areas that look to be in danger of forming cracks. If you or someone you know has any water getting in to your walls, especially on the upper floors of the building, please contact the board ASAP so that we can include your area in this project, if you have not done so already. This project will also help to seal gaps in the building's "heat envelope", preventing warm air from escaping as quickly in the winter, which should improve our building's energy efficiency.

Boiler Replacement Project Progress
After receiving several contractor bids for the project, the board has narrowed the field down to the three best proposals and is scheduling interviews with each of the three contractors before selecting the winning bid for the work.

In the meantime, the asbestos pipe insulation must be removed before demolition of the existing boiler can begin. The board has approved contractors for this project. Stay tuned for updates coming soon.

Hallway Renovation Update
The board is receiving proposals from three designers, and will share the options with residents in a special meeting to be scheduled in the next couple of months. Residents will be able to offer feedback on complete designs including wall coverings, paint colors, and patterns of carpeting.

Be Kind to your Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbors
A reminder to all residents: there is no sound barrier between floors, so try to be as considerate as possible to your downstairs neighbors and as forgiving as possible to your upstairs neighbors. A few tips:

  • If some of your high-traffic areas are not covered with carpeting or rugs, consider taking of your shoes more often when walking around in your apartment.

  • Remember that dropping shoes or moving chairs can seem like no big deal, but they can sound shockingly loud to the person below you.

  • If your upstairs neighbor is making distracting noise, consider politely knocking on their door and introducing yourself. Try to work together to figure out what activities the problem noises are coming from and potential solutions.

  • Avoid retaliating or knocking on the ceiling.

  • Although the board can sometimes help mediate noise disputes, the best course of action is to develop a relationship of mutual respect and understanding with your vertical neighbors.

Dec. Board Update

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Happy New Year Everyone - enjoy this month's updates!

New Contract with Verizon Fios

For the first time in our building's history, residents will have a choice of cable/internet/phone providers between Cablevision and Verizon Fios. We have entered into a contract with Verizon Fios to wire our building with their fiber-optic technology at no cost to us. The wiring will include new decorative crown-molding style cable track to cover our existing cablevision track and hide the new cable runs. 

The work is expected to begin by February, though that can change at any time based on Verizon's work schedule. 


2010 Maintenance and Assessment Reduction

We're happy to reduce the maintenance by a small amount for 2010 as compared to 2009. The 2009 assessment has ended, and is being replaced with a smaller assessment for 2010. Though our fixed costs continue to rise each year, our recently completed energy-efficient lighting project is saving our building $1,000 per month on electricity, and is largely responsible for the small reduction in maintenance this year.

Movement on the Parking Spot Waiting List

Three parking spots have become available within the past few months, they have been assigned, and everyone else on the waiting list has moved up three slots. Please check the building web site under Car Parking Waiting List for updates on your wait list status.


Price Cut for Bike Storage

Bicycle parking in the garage has been reduced to $5 per month. If you would like to park up to two bikes on a bicycle rack, please let the board know at If you already have a car parking spot, you can request a bike rack for free to be installed in your spot.


Hallway Renovations: Seeking Design Consultant

The board has agreed to consider design consultants for the remaining phases of the hallway redecoration project. A design consultant with experience with post-war residential apartment building hallways can offer us specific design element ideas, multiple design options with full mock-ups, specific wall-covering, carpet, paint and other material recommendations, and contract documents to be sent out to contractors. Just as we hired an engineer to design our new boiler before hiring contractors, a design consultant can fill a similar role for our hallway project and help bring in the expertise needed to move the project forward on budget and on schedule. If you know of any companies with experience designing hallway interiors for buildings like ours that might be interested in working with our building, please let the board know at by the end of January 2010.


Moving / Laundry Room Reminder

A couple of gentle reminders

  • Moving-in and moving-out is limited to weekdays between 8am and 5pm and must be done in accordance with house rule #10: "Trunks and heavy baggage and furniture shall be taken in or out of the building through the service entrance only after an appointment has been made with the superintendent." This is to allow the staff to protect the elevator walls and floor and to avoid bottlenecking our elevator during peak usage times.
  • At the request of several residents, please remove laundry from machines within 10 minutes of the end of a cycle, or else another resident may remove your laundry to a folding table for you. Also thanks to the automatic motion sensor for the light in the laundry room, you no longer any need to remember to turn off the lights when leaving the laundry room.


Boiler Replacement Progress

The board has received and is reviewing quotes from four contractors for our upcoming boiler replacement project. Asbestos abatement will be performed in the boiler room before the project begins, after this heating season is over.


Fire Escape Complete

Fire Escape painting is now complete. Thank you to all of our residents for cooperating and being patient while we found the right contractor to complete the work properly.

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.

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