News & Noteworthy

Article - Bruce Bronster Quoted in The New York Times "Ask Real Estate" Column
FEBRUARY 28, 2014

The February 27, 2014 edition of The New York Times "Ask Real Estate" column featured insight from Bruce Bronster (Partner, New York) in response to the following question about a residential conversion:

Q. A D'Agostino store is 30 years into a 40-year lease for the ground-floor commercial space of our co-op. They are currently subletting the space to a Duane Reade and a nail salon. I recently learned that D'Agostino has submitted applications with the city to rezone half of the space from commercial to residential and build three Class-A apartments. It also plans to remove half of the store frontage. Neither my co-op board nor the managing agent is part of the application. I asked my board about this, but it seemed surprised and didn't have an answer, yet I easily found the paperwork on the city's website. As a tenant, does D'Agostino have a right to do this? Who controls what can be built there? And what happens in 10 years when the lease expires?

Bruce advised that the lease, the proprietary lease and the initial declaration of a co-op, "will go a very long way to outline the rights and responsibilities of the parties."

He added:

  • "When you have a ground-floor tenant looking to change the certificate of occupancy, that is a major event in the life of the building that could change its value. "The board has a fiduciary responsibility to be involved."

Read the full article.

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