Antenna lease worries North Shore Towers shareholders – QNS.com

Antenna lease worries North Shore Towers shareholders

North Shore Towers
By Howard Koplowitz

The North Shore Towers Shareholders Association wants to look into a lease the co−op made in 1988 with a communications company that manages and operates antennas on the roofs of the co−op’s three buildings after a settlement was reached between the company and the co−op.

Continental Communications, the company that manages and operates the antennas, has a lease that gives the company free reign over how many antennas it can install, which led the company to put up more antennas than is allowed under city regulations, according to North Shore Towers Shareholders Association President Barbara Leonardi.

“We, as the shareholders, don’t even control our property,” Leonardi said.

Continental Communications sued North Shore Towers and the co−op’s board of directors individually for $500 million after the co−op held off on endorsing the company’s permit for the antennas, which were up for renewal.

Herb Cooper, one of the Towers’ board of directors, was waiting for the co−op to hire an independent engineer to look into potential hazardous effects from the antennas before the co−op would act on the permit.

North Shore Towers was contractually obligated to sign off on the permit, but it did not approve of the application, North Shore Towers attorney Errol Brett told Community Board 13 when the issue came up at the board’s June 2008 meeting.

Earlier this month, a settlement was made between Continental Communications and the co−op that limits the number of antennas the company can install to 75 per building, which would put it in compliance with city regulations, according to a letter from Robert Ricken, president of the North Shore Towers board of directors, to the shareholders.

Under terms of the settlement, Continental must pay the co−op $186,000 this year in addition to an annual rent payment for the rooftop space.

The report from the co−op’s independent engineer found that the antennas were safe, according to the settlement.

“We achieved our main objective to make certain the residents of North Shore Towers are safe now and in the future,” Ricken said in the letter.

Leonardi said the shareholders association, a group independent of the board of directors, plans to look at the lease to see if it no longer gives Continental Communications the right to put an unlimited number of antennas on the roofs.

“We want some questions answered in terms of the legality of that lease,” she said. “We had hoped that this litigation would correct some of the conditions of the lease.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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