Valerie Smaldone lives in a lovely, well-kept, prewar building in the Midtown East area, known as the Beekman area. Her building was built in the late 1920's and, among other amenities, has an extraordinary rooftop garden where she occasionally meets and socializes with her neighbors. “There are a couple of socials on the roof per year,” says Smaldone, a radio and voice-over personality. “Residents are asked to bring wine or beverages, as well as some food to contribute to the affair.”
In any building, it may be hard for a new resident to get to know their neighbors. Do you strike up a conversation in the elevator or the laundry room or go knocking on doors hoping to meet someone new? And what about the residents who aren’t as socially skilled as other, more gregarious residents, yet who want to meet their neighbors too?
Many condo developments offer on-site amenities such as a pool, gym, or tennis courts and, frequently, condo associations will also host social events for residents. Management can help residents to feel more at ease by providing opportunities for residents to socialize with each other. The more comfortable the residents are, the more they are bound to stay for a longer period of time.
“Co-ops and condos benefit when they have a charter to insure not only fiscal responsibility, but one of community,” says Adam Weinstein, a board member in charge of adding community-minded amenities to Hudson View Gardens, a cooperative apartment complex in the Hudson Heights neighborhood of Washington Heights. “Properties that have diverse committees and program social functions are successful.”
The rooftop and a working fireplace were the deciding factors that made Smaldone sign on the dotted line and live in this building that has almost 100 apartments, but she is pleased with how management, and even the residents, create regular fun events. “Throughout the years, there have been a variety of events that have even been created by residents,” she says.