Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcome To My Doorman/Elevator...Tenement

Park Avenue in the 30s -- $2100

Guess what? TR and I got screwed by his co-op board! (Only in New York...)

Now that I've stopped sobbing, I can tell the tale: Last week, on a whim, I called the management company to see the status of our inquiry to sublet out TR's alcove studio since we are having a baby in June. I asked to sublet as of June 1 for up to three years, but I secretly would have taken any day that they gave me.

We got a date all right: Spring/Summer 2010.

It seems that his co-op only allows 15 shareholders at any given time to sublet, and we are on a waiting list with 10 other people. Three of those people are also families who are expecting children.

I asked the woman on the phone if she realized that TR's place is a studio, and that it is likely against some fire code to have two adults and an infant living in essentially 520 square feet, including closet space. (Someone please tell me this is true, and back it up with documents.) She said, "Not to be rude, but you're not the only people in the building who are having a baby." True, but we are likely the only ones in a studio.

You know the old joke about a baby sleeping in a drawer? This might actually be the case for my little bean.

True, it's one heck of a view from the 21st floor, but the board is a little out of touch with the current economic climate or the fact that sometimes rules have to be adjusted in order to keep shareholders happy. Then again, maybe the board doesn't realize their building is on Second Avenue, not Park Avenue.

Other flaws with his board and building (since you asked):

1. They charge for common storage. Even in my rental building, which is also doorman/elevator, and, arguably, nicer, storage is free. Why do people pay to store things in a building that they're already paying maintenance to?

2. Parents cannot buy units for children unless the child is employed and can pay mortgage and maintenance on their own. Granted, if they could do that, they wouldn't need their parents helping them out, would they? (And the board wonders why not one of the six studios on the market have moved in over six months, nor has the two bedroom on the first floor.)

3. At least one doorman is known for hooking up with female resident(s). Klassy!

Again, not the kind policies I would expect east of Lexington Avenue.

Please send booze. Preferably a 2005 Bordeaux, Grand Cru or Premier Grand Cru. Since we're being charged for common storage, I'm turning our slice into a wine cellar/panic room.