Reducing Renovation Costs

             While multi-family buildings are looking to keep costs down as much as possible in this economic environment, there are certain items that need to be addressed.  One of these is the physical upkeep of the property, says Ira Meister, president and CEO of Matthew Adam Properties.  An important area is the public spaces, which immediately give a visitor insight into the attention to detail in the management of the property and how the residents view their homes.

Appearance of public areas can affect property value

“In fact,” Meister says, “the appearance of the public areas has an impact on the value of the building and the price of units.  Spaces that show their age might give the prospective buyer an indication that the mechanical systems may lack proper maintenance, which could lead to higher maintenance/common charges or a special assessment.

“The hallways at 1175 York Avenue needed to be refurbished and we wanted to add ‘Green’ elements to reduce costs and make the environment healthier for residents and staff,” Meister says.

He notes that in today’s economy with construction and renovation projects less plentiful contractors are more competitive and buildings can obtain lower bids than prior to the recession of 2008.

“While this helps to reduce costs, there are other ways to do so, and we diligently pursue these,” Meister says.  “One way is through the purchase of materials.”

For 1175 York Avenue, the asset manager at Matthew Adam researched the cost of materials such as carpeting, wall coverings and lighting fixtures and then aggressively bargained with the vendors to get a better price.

“We reduced the designer’s budgeted cost of materials by $150,000,” Meister says.  “The diligence of Martin Traub, the asset manager, paid off for the co-op.”

“Green” initiatives have long-term savings

In addition to installing new carpeting and wall covering, Matthew Adam had energy-saving, compact florescent lighting installed.  While the initial cost is higher for the lighting, long-term there is savings in the cost of the bulbs and energy.  Other “Green” initiatives are found in the adhesives and surface coatings.

“At Matthew Adam Properties we are in the forefront of bringing “Green” materials to the properties we manage,” Meister said.  “In every project we are involved with we see how we can bring our “Green” initiative to bear.”

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