Managing Smaller Buildings Too Small to Count?

One of fastest growing segments in New York area real estate is the increased popularity of boutique condos and co-ops. According to Propertyshark.com data, there are about 5,000 condo or co-op buildings across the city that have between just one and six units.

These small, intimate properties are sprouting up in neighborhoods from Tribeca to the Upper West Side to Park Slope and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and combine the status of a hip urban setting with the intimacy of a small, private residence where owners can live in relative anonymity. However, the daily management and maintenance of extra-small co-ops and condos can vary widely depending on the relative means of the shareholders and the willingness of a management firm to take on such small client communities.

Custom Tailoring

224 Mulberry Street in Manhattan is a luxurious condo being developed on the site of a former four-story garage. The community will have a doorman—and only six apartments.

“I’ve opened up five boutique condos in the last four years,” says A.J. Rexhepi, director of operations and development at Manhattan-based Century Management, the firm managing 224 Mulberry. “People want to have more control. They don’t want to be just one of a hundred.”

While the luxury boutique property is growing in popularity with wealthy apartment-seekers, management pros say there are some very unique and important hurdles to overcome for anyone looking to buy or operate a property of this size. One of those hurdles can be the mindset of the residents themselves. “Because of the size of the condo, residents tend to forget they’re still living in a community and its all not just part of their personal residence,” Rexhepi says.

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