Creative Financing for Your Co-op Condo Alternative Revenue Generators

The main source of any co-op or condo building’s revenue comes from maintenance charges. That seems self-evident.

But sometimes a building or development may suddenly need to undergo emergency repairs or fund large capital improvement projects, and the board may be reluctant to once again raise maintenance fees, especially if the co-op or condo is a middle income or low income development. The building may then seek to come up with other, creative ways to increase their cash flow, build up their reserve fund and stay solvent.

What are some of the most common ways of alternative revenue generating in co-op or condo buildings? One of the most visible ways may be to rent out your rooftop to a cell phone company for cell phone antennas. This, indeed, could be a bonanza for residential buildings, whether they are co-op, condo or rental. Especially in the early 2000s, they seemed to be going up everywhere.

But that opportunity may be drying up. “There’s so much consolidation—there used to be eight or nine cell phone companies, now we’re stuck with four,” says Greg Cohen, president of Impact Real Estate Management located in Queens.

There are also people who believe that cell phone towers and the microwaves they emit could be a danger to people’s health. Indeed, in several areas of the city, including Bay Ridge, Park Slope and Astoria, groups of residents have protested decisions by apartment buildings to allow the towers.


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