77th Street Roundup – Private School Tuitions to Top $40K, UES Grows in value – Payard opening again!

Homes at 177 East 77th will continue to rise in value for factors other than what you may have considered.  According to Miller Samuel, Inc. Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, our neighborhood already boasts the highest price per square foot in the country.

Our areas demographics seem to continually grow wealthier.  Upper East Side private schools have skyrocketed in cost.   With costly education comes wealthier people to pay for it (a sad truth in our society).  This fact alone will have a dramatic effect on the price of apts on the UES.

We also have the Second Avenue Subway – set to open in 2016 (depending upon who you ask).  Greater access will create even greater demand for our homes.

77th Street obviously has drawbacks.  Subway foot traffic.  Ugly real estate offices.  Too many banks.  Street vendors chocking the sidewalk.  Still, most see this as a small price to pay given all the pluses.  As an aside,  rumor has it Payard will be opening on 76th and 3rd!

It was suggested in this years apartment owner meeting, a block association should be formed.  Anyone in our building interested in getting one started?  Feel free to comment below.

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Tonight’s meeting – an editorial by Edmund Bogen


Congratulations & thanks to the board for all of their efforts this past year.  I have always made my gratitude known to them privately, given what was said in the meeting, I thought public recognition would be appropriate.  An ongoing discussion of what was achieved should be encouraged (this is my request to the blog powers that be – yes its not up to me).

Tonight a new resident owner was added to the board.  Like many of you, I have not met her and have know idea who she is.  That said, I look forward to getting to know her & thank her for her willingness to give so much of her personal time for the buildings benefit.  This is a tough job that takes hours a week that most are not willing to give.  So again – thank you.

So many topics were discussed – I don’t know where to begin.  Since so much of tonight centered on the election, I think I’ll start by saying I was disappointed by how it was handled.  A decision was made before this meeting.  Despite the fact that three extremely qualified candidates were discussed in advance with members of the board, including myself, Michael Mesard (a real estate attorney and CPA) and Charles Wagner ( a Harvard Educated International Tax attorney) we were passed over.  Why?  Because we hold different opinions?  Because we are vocal?  If the board wanted true diversity wouldn’t one of us been a logical choice?   No sore losers – it is what it is.  But you have to admit, keeping the choice totally silent is a little odd.  To me, it only strengthens the reason why a blog like this should exist.  Independent of the board and the management.  I do believe the parties that approve of these postings and comments should welcome differing opinions.

Please don’t blow my comments out of proportion!  Just because I vocally disagree – does not mean that I don’t appreciate or that I dislike members of the board.  As said at the beginning of this email – I am truly grateful for their countless hours of service they put in each week.

In any case – I would like to end on a higher note.  I was planning on hosting cocktails sometime next month at the Penn Club.  If you would like to join me, please drop me an email.  My email address is: ebogen@firstdegreenyc.com – I will shoot out the date as soon as it is secured.

Enjoy your summer!



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Elevator Incident

The below post was sent to us from one of our fellow occupants.  We agree with the suggestion that the building staff need to call 911 if someone is trapped in the elevator for a prolonged period. 

This is a great example of what we need to fix in our building.  We have wonderful staff .  But what they lack is proper training and guidance from management.  Everything (no matter how big or small) must first be cleared by our manager before the staff will act.  This applies even if someone is trapped in the elevator!!!  This is called micromanagement, and it needs to stop.  Please make sure you voice your opinion at tomorrow’s meeting.


Notice about our Elevator at 177 East 77 Street. –

Last evening Sunday, June 19th at 7PM my wife got trapped in the elevator of our building 177 East 77 Street. 

She was trapped in the elevator between the basement and the first floor. – The doorman on duty called the Elevator company to send a technician.  He was told that a technician would come in 90 minutes.

After communicating with my wife throught the elevator shaft and watching her on the video monitor for some time I concluded that I must call 911 emergency.  – Fireman arrived shortly after my call and released her.


All doorman and apartment personnel should be instructed to call emergency if someone is trapped in the elevator for more than 15 minutes.  Please comment here and tell me how you feel about this idea.  thanks, Adam12

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We Need Your Help!

Many of you may have received a proxy solicitation under your door this evening.  We’re requesting that each of you sign this proxy, which permits Beth Tunney (apartment 5C) to exercise your vote at the upcoming election on June 21.  It’s OK if you’ve already provided your proxy to Classic, as our proxy form will supersede all prior proxies.  After signing, we ask that you deliver the signed form to Beth in apartment 5C (feel free to leave under the door).

Our agenda remains the same as we have previously indicated on this website:

– We want to make that the board is controlled by real owner / occupants, and not our sponsor.  For our sponsor, this is  a pure investment.  For the rest of us, this building is our home.  The sponsor currently has 2 out of 5 seats on the board, and they’re now only entitled to 1.  Our goal is to utilize your proxies to get this 1 seat filed with an owner / occupant who will act in the best interest of all of us, as owners.

– Some of you may think our current building manager is great.  That may or may not be true.  But it’s a fact that they are paid almost double the market rate ($21,5000 above market).  It’s also a fact that our manager is a close affiliate of the building sponsor.  This over market rate needs to end immediately.  Further, a reduction in their fee to market will go a long way to reducing (if not eliminating) the 3.6% monthly maintenance fee that is being implemented.

– We would like to see a proactive and cost effective approach to improving the style and look of the lobby.

– We would like to see a building training program implemented.  Our building staff are wonderful.  However, without proper guidance, we cannot expect them to respond effectively.  Furthermore, current policy in our building does not allow building staff to make any decisions without approval of the building manager.  Many of us feel that this policy has been taken way too far.

If you agree with any of these points, we urge to sign our proxy and return it to Beth in 5C.  As always, feel free to drop us a comment (below) with any feedback.


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Board Elections to be held on June 21st – are you running?

On June 21st our condominium will hold its annual board election.  We are not sure what the current board members plans are, but we would like to take this time to ask our fellow resident owners to get involved.

If you don’t plan on attending the meeting on June 21st, we would like to suggest that you volunteer your proxy to Beth Tunney from apartment 5C.  Beth has lived at 177 East 77th for almost 20 years.  She bought her apartment at the time of the buildings conversion from rental to condo.  Beth is honorable, smart and kind.  She is a fantastic judge of character.  Her interests are your interests.

If you plan to run and would like to be listed on our upcoming blog, please contact us.

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OPINION: Extra Doorman during busy hours

(Disclaimer: The doorman above does not work for our building – nor do I endorse or reject his uniform)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra doorman during busy weekend departure and arrival times this summer?   It is almost impossible to park in front of our door during those hours.  The part time cost of having an extra person help with bags and other items would be hardly noticeable to our condominium and it would make life much easier during these busy times.  Moreover, this added service would make our building  more of a value to future owners looking for a new home.
If you agree with me, please make sure to endorse this suggestion at the June 21st building meeting.
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Reducing our Monthly Maintenance

As everyone now realizes, the board will be increasing our monthly maintenance by 3.6% and instituting an assessment to replenish our capital reserves in the near future.  We recognize that our board has done a great job keeping our maintenance low over the last several years and we commend all of their hard work.

However, instead of implementing these increases, we have a better idea.   We contacted several reputable and highly regarded NYC condo managers.  Based on our due diligence, market management fees for a building of our size (i.e. 57 units) is $500 per unit, or a total of $28,500.   This is not a guess.  This is a verified number that has been provided by multiple sources.  Our current manager is being paid an annual fee of $50,000, which equates to an excess of $21,500 above market.  That excess, if eliminated, would eliminate practically all of the 3.6% increase.

Why are we being charged in excess of market?  The answer is very simple.  Our current manager has 2 out of 5 seats on the board, and is conflicted.  This situation needs to change.

Folks, this is real money for all of us.  Let’s make sure we rectify this at the June 21 annual meeting.

As always, please feel free to drop us a note with any comments.

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