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David Pfeffer Featured in Brick Underground Article on the Unique Considerations Involved When a Group of NYC Co-Op Shareholders Sell Their Entire Building

June 19, 2019

Construction chair David Pfeffer was extensively quoted in the Brick Underground article, "What does it take to get a group of NYC co-op shareholders to sell their whole building?

The article explores whether it is possible for shareholders to agree unanimously to dissolve a NYC co-op and sell the whole building, which as the article notes, is what appears to have happened with 417 Park Avenue. In the article, David notes that selling an entire co-op building is rare but those that do sell in this way are usually smaller co-ops of between 10 and 30 units, and often the sale is due to a developer wanting to construct a larger, higher-end building on the site of the co-op.

David noted that "in these situations the purchaser is offering a windfall that makes it ‘very profitable’ for the shareholders. In these cases, it is usually a developer who may have acquired several lots neighboring the co-op, "when you assemble lots, you assemble the buildable rights of the lots, allowing developers to build bigger buildings."

The goes on to discuss the necessary requirements for sale (a super-majority for this kind of sale – between 75-90 percent of shareholders), "the sale itself isn't complicated. What's complicated is the political process that will often happen among the co-op's residents. There will always be someone who doesn’t want to leave."

David explored how these sales usually come about, noting that when the sale of an entire co-op building happens, it's almost always the result of a developer approaching the co-op rather than the other way round. A buyer might reach out to the co-op through the board, or through a third party. Pfeffer says the developers he represents will "try and make a connection with someone in the building.”

Read the full article.

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