A small number of co-ops are converting to condos. Is this the beginning of a new trend in the city’s ever-evolving housing market? Or is it just a flash in the pan? And more importantly: Should your co-op go there?
Two buildings — one in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, the other in Rego Park, Queens — are among the handful of co-ops that have made the switch in recent years. Their primary reasons are greater value and increased unit-owner control of the apartments.
Value was important to Sofya Golkhovaya, a native of the Ukraine, who moved into the 1930s-vintage Bensonhurst co-op in 1993 and has served on the 59-unit building’s board for many years. Currently president, she felt that her cooperative apartment was not a good investment anymore: The maintenance was high and much of that went to pay interest on the building’s $2.4 million underlying mortgage. Meanwhile, she says the value of her shares remained flat or had declined.
Over in Queens, The Delmar, a 36-unit co-op, also was concerned about declining value. Board president Connie Sokol, who was renting her apartment when the building converted in 1987, says shareholders began to get edgy even before the economy tanked in 2008.