Today from 7:00 am through 8:30 pm this evening, Rivercross Tenants are being asked to take the first step towards Privatization of their cooperative building and to leave the Mitchell-Lama program. This vote is now the official first vote in the process after DHCR cancelled the earlier December 2007 “second” vote claiming the 1996 “first” vote was stale . The Coop Board is actively behind this vote and all signage distributed to tenants strongly urges a positive vote authorizing the Board to notify the DHCR that the building is taking the first steps towards investigating “privatization”.
There are tenants on both sides of the issue whether privatization is the right course for the building at this time. I will admit, as a Rivercross resident shareholder, I can see arguments on both sides and I will also admit but for the Mitchell-Lama status of the building I could not afford to buy into the building at FMV prices.
If the vote is positive the Board will begin the process to put together a business plan (the "black book") with all financial data as to how the conversion would be effected and how the building would be supported once it leaves Mitchell-Lama. A second vote is then required on this plan and this is what the Board states is the "real vote" as that vote would be to officially privatize or not. Tenants are fully aware that this process of even getting to the second vote is not a cheap one and the Board will incur substantial fees before such vote takes place. These costs are another issue of contention between the resident factions in the building.
Major issues to be addressed by the "Black Book" include coverage of the FMV tax equivalency bills which would now be imposed fully by the ESDC as well as the negotiation to extend the ground lease on the building which currently only extends out only 20 years.