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Co-op Village on LES


Does anyone know what it's like to buy/live in one of these buildings? We're interested in the ones directly overlooking the FDR but are also considering apartments in some of the other buildings as well.


Thanks, tenemental. If we decide to go for it, do you know anything about the boards? Are they reputed to be difficult? Clearly, from reading the thread, they were reputed to be corrupt. Is that still the case?

The thread was posted 5 weeks ago, so I doubt that the co-op board changed much, unless there was a major change as a result of the leaders being voted out in the last few weeks.

I lived in co-op village for 13 years, and the board is not tough. ALthough, they take 2 million years to do anything, like fix the undergorund parking garage at Seward after it collapsed. I beleive it took 5 years to re-build.

I have a unit in one of those buildings. It's actually going on the market this weekend, assuming the broker keeps her promise! It's a fully renovated (stunning fantabulous kitchen and bath) 1-BR for $449.

If I'm not mistaken, there are three, somewhat distinct, loosely affiliated, HUGE co-op complexes on those blocks, each consisting of a number of buildings (my complex is nine buildings, I think.) Each of the three complexes has its own set of rules and criteria for owners and prospective owners, but one factor that unites all of them is that they were originally envisioned as lower to middle income housing. They were also governed for a long-time by something of a socialist ethic - until 2000, there were artificial caps placed on the price that apartments could sell for. Probably-not-so-coincidentally, the lifting of those caps coincided with the early stages of the real estate boom, and prices in all three skyrocketed.

As with any older co-op, you have a mix of long-time residents and newer ones who have paid the big bucks to get in. The contrast between the two 'classes' of residents is probably starker here than in other areas, in that 'rich' people could really only start to move in after 2000, leaving a lot more 'old-timers' than in a typical 1980s co-op conversion. On the other hand, the Lower East Side has gotten EXTREMELY hot in the last few years (though granted, not in the immediate vicinity of these co-ops), bringing in a flood of new buyers into buildings which, while they have gone up in value, are not priced in the stratosphere. There aren't many areas of below-96th street Manhattan where you can get a full-sized, renovated, pre-war 1-BR in an elevator building in the $400s.

The BEST part about the complex my unit is in is that the application, for some bizarre (probably having something to do with its socialist background) reason, requires not a SINGLE SHRED of financial information about prospective shareholders in its applications. In 5 and a half years of flipping co-ops all over the 5 boros, I don't recall ever seeing a building not require a single shred of financial info. But that is the case here - no taxes, no bank statements, no post-closing liquidity requirements, no W-2s, no nothing. You still have to fill out an application, but your financial standing has no bearing on whether or not they accept you, even if you're buying a 7 or 800 thousand dollar apartment.

Hope that helps.

Co-op village is not pre-war.

"There aren't many areas of below-96th street Manhattan where you can get a full-sized, renovated, pre-war 1-BR in an elevator building in the $400s."

Pre-war doesn't mean pre the gulf war.

Those things are incredibly post war. No details, low ceilings, institutional entranceways.
They make stuytown look luxury. I put them on par with Trump Village.

They're solid but they're ugly.

And full size... well, they're not undersized. But they're not particularly big. Much smaller than Peter Cooper, and a little smaller than StuyTown.

Many do have balconies, though...

I live in the East River complex and LOVE it. It's been getting better and better for the past ten years. The LES is officially HOT now. It's at a really good point now and I think there's still plenty of room for growth. There are still great deals to be had and your choice of a fixer upper or pay a little more for a move in now place. There are more and more of the nicer move in now places coming on the market.

There are several different co-ops along Grand Street. East River complex is the building facing at the East River. There are amazing views and pretty large apartments available for less than $700 sf for units in pretty good shape. Everyone who comes into my place is blown away by the dramatic view and the space. I did a big renovation, taking down wall and putting in a cooks kitchen.

New and young people are moving in all the time and the place is changing, for the better but there is some resistance from old timers. There's nothing major though. I'm sure in the next few years the board will be made up of new blood. For now the board is pretty old school but they're not irresponsible. They do a VERY thorough review of applicants and do take their positions seriously.

My grandparents moved into this building when it opened. It wasn't really low income, it was designed to add middle income housing at a time when it was lacking (as usual) and I believe there weren't income requirements. There were many judges and lawyers living in the buildings. The old timers are not so bad. They're just old and dying off rather quickly.

There are some nice listings now. These are for the East River Co-op.

Someonewhoknows does not know all. I know that East River coop requires quite a bit of financial information, 3 years of all financial statements, taxes and W2's.

I hear the Hillman Complex doesn't require the financial information. Hillman is cheaper and doesn't have the great views (in general) or balconies.

Whoops, you're right - it's not prewar. I was under the impression that it was pre-war but relatively detail-less, a la the Met Life developments (Peter Cooper, Stuy Town, Riverton, Parkchester). My mistake.

And yes, 11201, I did make clear that it's the complex that MY unit is in that does not require any financials. It is in the Hillman part of Co-op Village.

Flip tax!

I just noticed that LOHO realty put a ton of listings on Craigslist yesterday. I counted 20 under $700k (most far under). Looks like a big push for them.

The Met Life developments are all postwar as well.

Actually, one small precision, *one* of the buildings in coop village is a pre-war, 1930s building. It's the amalgated build at 503 grand street. Visited places there, you have nice layouts and prewar details... but the location was too much of a downer.

Not exactly. Parkchester was planned in 1939, and built in 1939 - 1942. Riverton was built around the same time. Peter Cooper/Stuy Town was planned in 1942 and built just after the war, but based exactly on Parkchester. Everything from the design of the buildings to the designation of the floors ("M"(ain) for ground level, "T"(errace) for second fllor) is identical

Very interesting, and thanks, SomeonewhoKnows -- I stand corrected. A quick poke through the wikipedia shows that the concept was debuted at the 1939 World's Fair, Metropolitan Life was able to get an exemption from a WWII-era construction moratorium, and the others were post-war but presumably stuck close to the original blueprint, which I think was your point. Riverton was proposed in 1944 as a Jim Crow response to all-white Stuytown, or at least so says the wikipedia.

In any event, whether Stuytown etc. used more cost-cutting than the original at Parkchester (which I now want to make a field trip to visit), all these huge master-planned middle-income developments got a little worse each decade. So the 1950s Grand/East River Drive building (the only one I've been to in Co-op Village) has smaller apartments than Stuytown, but very thoughfully laid out floorplates, windowed kitchens and baths, nice floors. It also has a rather dramatic lobby for what it is (much nicer than Stuytown) -- high ceilings, wall of windows, like a highend office building of the time . . . but you sort of have to stop and look to realize it. My Mitchell-Lama coop, from the 1960s, tightened the belt, so the lobby's drab (but still nicer than Stuytown), and the apartments have no wood floors (I put engineered wood in mine . . . I may be stupid but I'm not dumb), and no windows in the bathroom and kitchen (I opened up my kitchen, because I'd starve to death if I had to use an enclosed galley kitchen), but rock-solid construction. By the 1970s, middle-income housing got just tragic. Tiny little windows, no soundproofing, etc.

To end this highly digressive post: I've been told that Met Life did similar developments in other cities, including LA and SF. I wish I could find a website that described all of them.

Is the Terrace level used for anything besides apartments in the MetLife buildings?

Not as far as I know. Three of the Metlife projects are still rentals (Peter Cooper, Stuy Town, and Riverton) and as such, I've never had anything to do with them. I have flipped a few Parkchester apartments (a section of which converted to condo in 1972, and the rest in 1986), and still have two units there now. While I've never had anything, or even been to the Terrace floor, I believe it's only apartments that are situated there.

Peter Cooper and Stuy Town are no longer owned by MetLife. Tishman Speyer bougt them last year for $5 billion, and the rents there are sky high. A complete rip off if you ask me.

And just a note: Pre-war means pre World War II.

It's a shame the rents are ridiculous. I hear they are having a hard time filling them up. They just raised them again. The PC layouts are great and the 1 brs are very large. They renovated everything too. I would move there if they lowered the price by $500 a month

Anybody living in Co-Op village LES can comment on the school zone/district. My impression is that all the bldgs. belong to district 1 except, maybe, Seward, which will fit in a tiny corner of district 2. I know the area used to have a HS so bad it was closed down recently. Maybe things are not as bad now in that regard. But that's a big concern for families with children.

Should have add a question mark: Anybody living in Co-Op village LES can comment on the school zone/district? Please.

Seward Park High School is just as bad as any other city high school.

I went to look at one bedroom apts (the price was good) but the area is awful. I guess it would be okay if you're in your home before 7:00 pm. I know certain areas are changing and I like looking at the shops on delancy street but to live there no no no

Yes, the LES sucks at night, especially since your surrounded by housing projects.

> The LES is officially HOT now

I agree, but the hot part isn't really near co-op village...

The "hot part" is far away from co-op village indeed. It's more toward where Avalon at Christy Place is.

Yeah, I'm blown away by what they've done on the Bowery around there...

11201 or anyone else, are all the elevators in East River shabbos elevators, i.e. they stop on every floor on the Jewish sabbath? Also, who are the people who are buying these days? Young professionals? Singles? Families? Thanks for any info.

fatrabbit....your questions could also be answered by LOHO...they are a local realtor. They seem to know everything about the LES.

fatrabbit -- yes, they're all shabbos elevators. It's not so bad, though. They're fast, and there's a good elevator ratio. Probably not fun if one breaks.

Sorry, clarification: each elevator bank has two elevators. On shabbos/J-holidays, one of the two stops on every floor automatically; the other runs normally.

fatrabbit - Yes, there is a shabbos elevator and as well as an elevator that runs normally.

The people who are buying these days are young professionals, families and artistic/literary types. Bugaboo's popping up left and right. It seems young couples move in and start families. There's a LES parents group, a yahoo group I believe. There's getting to be a big active and friendly scene. I also see some young singles and a quite a number of gay men. It's a good mix of people, that will probably do away with that elevator eventually. This year was the first year of the Grand Street CSA and it was/is very popular and I guess you could say its a CSA type crowd if you know what I mean. I'd also use Yupster to describe many of the new buyers.

Trompiloco - I don't have children but I do have friends that have children at PS 110 and are very happy with their choice, it supposedly has changed dramatically during the recent years. You're right about most of the are being district 1 and a small part of Seward Park in district 2. All of these new families that have been moving in over the years have been sending their children to the local schools like ps 110 and getting very involved. I think 110 won some award for most improved school recently. I also hear that the other school, forget the name but it teaches mandarin is very good and very rigirous. My friends also sent their daughter to the Earth School for preK and K and loved it.

Thanks very much 11201. Please forgive my ignorance but what is a CSA?

My pleasure. These links should explain the CSA. It's basically where a community partners with a farm. People buy shares before the season, the farmer harvests and distributes farm fresh, local organic produce.

here is a random question... I always thought that those buildings could be MUCH nicer if they just spent a few bucks on hallway paint and maybe a spruce up of the lobby. We're talking a LOT of residents on each floor and in the building, so costs would be split many ways. Right now, they all look one step away from projects in my book.

With all the yuppie influx, has there been ANY movement on cleaning things up a bit some?

Renovations are underway in Seward Park which has recently been the worst offender. The plans are pretty swanky as seen here
The hallway work is underway now and making a huge difference. These plans have been in the works for years but there was an issue involving a lawsuit tying up funds.

The East River buildings had a modernization several years ago the lobbies and hallways were redone in several million dollar project. Values rose immediately after.

This is the correct link for the Seward Park lobby design. The winning architect is 1100.

It's a nice plan.

Oh, cool. I've always wondered why prices went up fivefold but the lobbies looked like their old crappy selves. Glad to see there might finally be some movement..

Thought I'd mention the pricechop that arrived in my inbox. It's been on the market for a year and a half, 1k sf 2br w/ balcony on FDR drive (either river views or highway fumes, depending on your outlook), needs work, down to $535k.

11201 or anyone else, any idea about parking? For complicated reasons, we have to have a car. Is the waiting list at East River really years long? What about Seward Park? If we can't park on site, are there any garages in the vicinity of East River or Seward Park? Another question, a friend of ours told us that when she spoke to Loho Realty and asked about washer/dryers in the units, the broker said they're not allowed in East River but it's an open secret that almost everyone has one. Is that true? Any idea about washer/dryers at Seward Park? Also, is it true that there are some really huge penthouses in East River and Seward Park, e.g. 4 bedrooms but they almost never come on the market? One more question: if we combined apartments, any idea if the boards would allow us to add a bathroom or a half bath? Thanks.

Fatrabbit -

Buy my fabulously renovated 1-BR at Hillman, and I'll rent you a parking spot at any local garage for 5 years.

I'm not kidding. The doomsdayers on this board are frightening me about the market!

Thanks SomeonewhoKnows but a 1BR is way too small for us. Are there local 24 hour garages in the vicinity? Are there any you would recommend? Also, can you answer any of my questions from yesterday? Thanks again.

The waiting lists for parking are many years long. There are local garages with not bad deals. One charges $350 and is indoor by East River and there's an outdoor lot near Seward Park that's $350. Some people just do street parking and do ok.

Dryers are allowed but now washers. I wouldn't risk a secret washer. I

There are penthouses that rarely come on the market but I don't think I've heard of a 4 bedroom that wasn't a breakthrough. The penthouses are larger, some have 250 foot terraces. I think you can only add a bathroom a room that has plumbing like a kitchen but I'm not sure.

Thanks again, 11201. Can you tell me where the garages you mentioned are located? We'd like to check them out when we go to look at some of the apartments. BTW, what are the names of the management companies for East River and Seward Park? Sorry for so many questions but we have found that, in their zeal to sell apartments, brokers often don't give you the real story.

Concerning schools, don't forget that NEST is within easy walking distance of all the coops in Coop Village. It is very selective, though.

There has been alot of positive changes for most people living

in the COOPS on grand street in recent years - I am surprised

Though that mgmnt in two of the four coops that were called coop village still have the same ( " old school " ) mentality and that board members / shareholders living there have not done much to change the status quo - Seward Park Coop values are as much as 200K higher than comparable apts further down grand street / FDR drive


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