Matthew Adam Properties Honored by Resident Managers Groups

Matthew Adam Properties, Inc., its President, Ira Meister, and three executive vice presidents were honored by The Three Hands group for their outstanding contributions to real estate at a dinner at Chelsea Piers this past November 2012.
The Three Hands organizations – The Metropolitan Building Managers of New York, The Manhattan Residential Managers Club and The Scandinavian-American Building Managers Guild – represent resident managers of many of Manhattan’s premier residential properties.
Honored with the company and Meister were EVPs Harvey Greenberg, Martin Traum, and Janusz Sikora.
“Matthew Adam Properties under the leadership of Ira Meister and the three executives we honor tonight have been in the forefront of quality management in our industry as well as bringing innovative programs to improve the buildings they manage as well as the quality of life of the residents,” said Mike MacGowan, of The Three Hands. “As resident managers of many of the prime residential buildings in Manhattan, The Three Hands members know and understand the efforts and quality that Matthew Adam brings to each assignment.”
Meister accepted the award on behalf of the company and the three executives and thanked the group for the honor. “It is significant that Harvey, Marty and Janusz are being honored along with the company,” he said. “They are real professionals and are significant contributors to our companywide team effort. The honors tonight are for every one of our employees who each contribute to our success and the quality management we bring to the properties we manage.”
This is the second award for Matthew Adam Properties and Meister in the past several months. In October, they were honored by the Young Jewish Professionals Real Estate Division with the Real Estate Deal Maker and Achievement Award.
Matthew Adam Properties is a leading Manhattan-based residential management firm that brings a strategic approach to the more than 100 properties it manages in the New York area. The company also manages and serves as a consultant to retail properties nationwide.
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Why Multi-family Unit Insurance Costs Are Likely to Rise

This is the time of the year, said Ira Meister, founder and CEO Matthew Adam Properties, Inc., when most co-ops and condos are working on or have just completed their budgets for the coming year. Most of the budget is consumed by fixed costs for labor, energy, property taxes (for co-ops) and other items including insurance.

The city has not set its tax rate for the coming year, but it usually goes up, and oil costs have increased, though natural gas prices remain low.

One area that will experience an increase is insurance costs. Robert Owens, president of the Owens Group, a leading insurance broker for the residential multi-family community, projects insurance premiums will increase approximately 5-7 percent for accounts with a good claims record and 10-15 percent for those with more claims.

Owens noted that insurance rates have remained stable or decreased since 2005 in a historically cyclical industry. Several factors come into play for the increase.

“Investment income is the bedrock of the insurance industry,” Meister said, “and with the low interest rates we have seen in the past few years, the companies have not had the income to offset the claims and help them make a profit.” He said this has put a squeeze on some insurance companies.

The horrendous weather in the past year is also having an impact on the rates. Residents of the tri-state region lived through the “freaky” October storm in 2011, Hurricane Irene and for the first time in memory, a string of tornadoes. “While the insurance carriers look at the nation as a whole in determining rates, they also balance that with their loss ratio in various regions and many carriers have lost money in our region over the past 18 months,” Meister said.

Meister noted that shareholders and unit-owners looking at past budgets may see an increase in the premiums in recent years, but, in fact, the rate was lower. This was due to banks placing more stringent requirements on properties when they refinanced and requiring more insurance coverage, thus raising the premiums, while lowering the rates. “Now, the rates are going up,” Meister said.

When Overhead Scaffolding & Sidewalk Bridges are Required

For several decades, periodic inspection of the exteriors of buildings taller than six stories has been required by New York City, first under Local Law 10 and then under Local Law 11 passed in 1998, notes Ira Meister, founder and CEO, Matthew Adam Properties, Inc.  The 1998 law upgraded and expanded the requirements of Local Law 10 and came after masonry fell from the side of a building at 540 Madison Avenue.  Local Law 10 was passed after falling masonry killed a pedestrian near Columbia University.

Meister said we are now completing the seventh cycle of inspections that started with Local Law 10.  “The purpose was to correct unsafe conditions on building exteriors,” Meister said.  “One of the costs involved with the inspection or repairs is erecting a sidewalk bridge.”

Most owners, boards and property managers believe the sidewalk bridge is required for all repairs, but Matthew Adam Properties discovered this is not always the case.

“We manage a building in midtown and believed that under provisions of the New York City Building code a sidewalk bridge was not necessary for the needed repairs,” Meister said   “We met with the Department of Buildings and pointed out to them provisions of section 3307.3.1 of the department’s code.”

The code states that a sidewalk bridge is required when the portion of the structure being altered or repaired is over 40 feet above curb level and the horizontal distance from the portion of the structure to the inside edge of the sidewalk, walkway or temporary walkway is less than one-half the height of the structure being repaired.

“In our building, the area being repaired was the chimney, which is 16.5 feet high,” Meister said.  “The distance from the chimney to the edge of the roof is 35 feet.”  Thus, the distance between the chimney and the edge of the roof, was more than twice the height of the chimney and no sidewalk bridge was required, saving the co-op the expense.

“We showed the city in this instance that the code it was enforcing did not apply to this repair project,” Meister said.