Seward Park Co-op Owners Petition Change to Bylaws that Would Allow $54M Air Rights Deal

Posted on: August 24th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Photo: S4 Architecture

A sore loss, and a last-ditched effort at another shot…

It’s been two months since the Seward Park Co-op collectively voted to deny the sale of its precious air rights to developer Ascend Group. Not content with the outcome of the member vote, it appears “the majority of shareholders” who voted YES are desperately trying to revive the $54 million deal.

There are currently flyers circulating the housing complex urging residents to sign a petition, and promising that “it’s not too late” to save the deal. That “we can still save our economic future.”

The aim is to organize the requisite 25% of Seward Park stockholders to call a “special meeting” in order to discuss an amendment to the bylaws that would stipulate a majority vote carries. Instead of the standing 2/3 majority, a threshold not met during the June vote.

Below is an excerpt from the petition, which currently boasts 475 signatures of a stated 700 goal.

WE, the majority of shareholders in the Seward Park Cooperative, are deeply troubled over the failure to pass the referendum on the sale of our air rights to the Ascend/Optimum development group. We voted, and a majority of us were in favor of the sale and applying the $54 Million in proceeds to keep us and our fellow shareholders, even those opposed to the sale, in pristine financial condition.

In addition to paying down our mortgage and making millions of dollars in necessary infrastructure repairs, we were all going to enjoy a four month maintenance holiday.

Instead, due in many cases to a lack of information, some misinformation, and the misguided opposition of shareholders whose views would be affected in any development scenario, we are now facing maintenance increases, assessments, and no new lobbies for a very long time.

In the wake of the air rights denial, the Ascend Group remains committed to a two-towered plan that flanks the former Bialystoker Nursing Home. The new developments will rise 20 and 36 stories respectively, and will straddle approximately 240,000 square-feet of total area. The Ascend Group had been wooing the housing complex for these additional air rights for over a year to build even higher.

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