Board of Directors Holds Open Meeting

Members of the Board of Directors updated the community on their activities during an open meeting on Thursday, April 28.
Board President Bob Ricken began by noting that there will be four Board positions up for reelection and shared important dates related to the elections. Candidate nominations end May 9, Meet the Candidates night will be held May 24, the Annual Shareholders meeting will take place on June 16 and results will be tabulated on June 17.
Ricken then detailed highlights of 2010, which included no maintenance or Country Club dues increases for the second year in a row.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are,” he said.
Other highlights included having more than $18 million in cash and reserves as of December 31, 2010; receiving $713,000 from transfer fee revenue; having 1,821 Country Club members at the end of 2010 and getting $326,000 in sponsored golf membership revenue.
“We have the highest Country Club membership we’ve ever had in the history of North Shore Towers,” Ricken said, noting that mandatory membership for shareholders and renters has helped this area.
Capital improvements in 2010 included the west gate paving, updating the barbecue area, repaving the driveway in the rear of the buildings, completing the roofs and work on the ramp in garage two and starting the well water work. Ricken also said special events from the year were three sold out holiday parties, two extra Board meetings to present information on the generators and going green, NST Appreciation Day, two free guest days at the pool and a trip to Citi Field.
Looking ahead to 2011 through 2013, Ricken said major issues the cooperative will be addressing are mortgage financing, the restaurant lease that will expire in 2013, sponsor litigation over parking spots and the management and security contracts.
Screening Committee Chair Phyllis Goldstein updated residents about sales at North Shore Towers. In 2010, there were 98 apartments sold, 32 of which were from estates. The average selling price per share was $122.59 while the average sales price was $411,980.
For the first four months of 2011, there have been 32 re-sales, compared to 18 in the same time period last year. In 2010, the average price per share was $116.66 per share and the average sale price was $391,306 during the first four months. During the first four months of 2011, the price per share averaged $113.81 and the average sale price was $345,578.
Goldstein said that the “selling season” will start to pick up in May.
“The sales prices will go up in time,” she said. “We can’t fight what’s going on outside these gates, but what we are doing is moving apartments.”
Phil Plafker, chair of the Country Club Committee, said that, as of April 28, there were 1,505 Country Club members. However, that number is expected to increase to 1,900 by the end of the year.
Plafker also noted that recent work done in the club includes changes to the VIP Room, bathroom updates and new equipment in the gym. He also said they will be installing new entrance doors to the Country Club.
Upcoming dates of note that Plafker shared were a new member brunch on May 14, tennis meeting on May 25, holiday events from May 28 to May 30 and a Country Club meeting on June 9.
Capital Improvements Committee Chair Herb Cooper detailed some of the major projects at the Towers. The reconstruction of ramp three is underway. Around May 15, construction will begin on the entrances to all three buildings. Improvements are also being made to the drainage system in the front park area.
Construction has also begun to replace the chimney. Cooper said the challenge is that the power plant will have to be shut down while some of the work is completed. Trucks with mounted generators will be brought in to provide power. The existing chimney is scheduled to be demolished on May 4.
Cooper also noted that the “largest and most costly project ever done at North Shore Towers” – the replacement of the generators – is in the planning stages. Requests for proposal were sent out to four major engineering companies and the responses are being evaluated.
Mort Gitter, who heads the Finance Committee, gave an overview on the cooperative’s financial status. For 2010, he said that revenues exceeded expenses for the corporation and that the Country Club’s revenues were beyond what was anticipated. As of December 31, 2010, the co-op’s reserves were $15,250,000.
Gitter said that next month the Board will make a final determination about if the $.30 per share real estate tax abatement coming in July will be recouped. However, even if it is, Gitter said that “shareholders will still receive a significant portion of the recoupment as a credit towards their July maintenance.”
Looking at the first four months of 2011, Gitter said “we are pretty much on budget.” He also said that, for the remainder of the year, he is “optimistic that we will be paying our expenses barring unforeseen consequences.”
House and Grounds Committee Chair Claire Levitan said that, in two weeks, the Towers will be getting new lobby doors, floors and mats. She also noted that additional plans are being selected for the arcade area.
Levitan explained that the Towers will be launching the “easy to use” system mybuilding.org, which will allow for communication and packing tracking, among other functions. After staff training has been completed, Levitan said there will be a resident meeting where the company’s owner will be on hand to explain everything to residents.
“We considered entry into this system because it enhances our image of modern, luxury living and will attract a wider demographic when we shift from paper and ink into the computer age,” Levitan said.
Murray Lewinter, chair of the Political Action Committee, spoke of some of the issues the Board of Directors is currently monitoring. They include government deficits that could cause reductions to senior programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; hydraulic fracturing for the development of natural gas; pension and benefit reform; marriage equality; ethics reform for elected officials; and education funding redesign. He also said they are following current bills in Albany that would create property tax caps.
The final committee update was given by Shelley Sander, the Marketing, Publicity and Public Relations Committee chair. She said her committee has been “continuing its efforts to increase awareness of and interest in North Shore Towers.”
Sander said that the Towers will once again be sponsoring a little league team. The committee is also working to solicit local vendors to give special offers to residents in exchange for being listed on the co-op’s mybuilding.org site. She noted that, when outsiders are at the Towers, they will take advantage by having the marketing card available and, when appropriate, showing the Towers promotional video and/or distributing promotion items.
Additionally, Sander said that the Towers’ relationship with The Queens Courier “has rewarded us with some good publicity,” which included a feature on Pouran Spa. The Towers movie theatre was also part of The Courier’s “Daily Deals” promotion twice.
Following committee reports, residents were able to ask questions

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