The Wavecrest Management Team Ltd. began business in 1979 when we took over the management of Wavecrest Gardens, a 1650 unit, 38 building development located in Far Rockaway, New York. When we started, Wavecrest Gardens was suffering the effects of demographic changes. Built in the 1950’s on a beautiful 12-acre site overlooking the ocean, it had once been the pride of The Rockaways. But in 1979, there were serious problems with vacancies, rent arrears, bad debts, vandalism and maintenance. With no available capital other than the cash flow from the buildings, and faced with a complex that was operating at a high deficit, we began our work. We learned rather quickly that we had to maximize our income while controlling costs. We turned Wavecrest Gardens around. Today, once again, Wavecrest Gardens is the pride of The Rockaways.
In 1987 we were designated to manage a 54 unit cooperative complex located on the east side of Manhattan. Today, we manage in excess of 2,000 cooperative/condominium units located in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Westchester . These developments range in size from 14 units to 265 units and encompass both high-rise buildings and garden style properties.
We still manage that 54 unit building that started with us in 1987. Over the years we replaced the heating plant, upgraded the lobby, modernized the elevator among other lesser projects that have increased the quality of life for the individual owners.
During the period from 1991 – 1997 our efforts were focused on the management of distressed properties that were foreclosed by financial institutions. During this period we managed in excess of 150 buildings for these financial institutions. The institutions we represented included: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), First National Bank, Apple Savings Banks, Lincoln Savings Bank, Flushing Savings Bank, American Express Bank and the Banque National de Paris. In addition to having the management expertise, we also developed an experienced technical staff to meet, in a timely fashion, all of the mandated reporting requirements of these financial institutions.
In May 1995 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) chose us to manage a 109 unit residential development located on 116th Street and Morningside Avenue in New York City. We assumed management of this development in May 1995. The buildings were in default on their mortgage obligations with HUD and were in deplorable physical condition. The graffiti started on the outside of the building and covered almost every square inch of the lobby and hallways. The front door was broken and unlocked, the intercom was not functioning, the mailboxes were ripped out of the wall, the compactors were not working, and of the 40 occupied apartments (69 were vacant), the residents received minimum service, if any. With only limited cash flow, we began our work.
With the cooperation of the staff at HUD, we developed a Management Improvement and Operation (MIO) Plan for the renovation of these buildings. The total scope of work approved under the MIO Plan was $1,380,000 with $1,000,000 coming from the New York State Housing Trust Fund and the balance of the funding coming from operations with the restructuring of the mortgage debt on the building.
In January 1998, we began the major renovation of these buildings. In short order, all 109 units have been repaired and are occupied. The intercom systems have been replaced and we have installed new front and vestibule doors. We installed new mailboxes, replaced one compactor and repaired the other. The hallways have been repaired and painted, and the boiler and elevator have been upgraded and placed in proper working order. In addition, we have eliminated a serious drug problem at this building. One tenant said it all when she told us that she can now tell her friends where she lives.
As a post-script, the buildings were inspected by HUD’s independent Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) in November 1999 and received an overall score of 94.6%. These buildings went from potential abandonment to excellence in less than five years.
In February 1996, we were chosen, in a competitive process, to manage a development sponsored by The Archdiocese of New York that contained 900 units in 27 buildings located in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. These buildings were renovated under the Vacant Cluster and N.O.W. programs.
We were appointed because the Board was concerned that the possible phase out of the Section 8 subsidy for a portion of their tenants would severely affect the financial stability of the development. When we started there was no cash reserve and a significant unfunded water and sewer obligation in the amount of $500,000. In less than one year we were able to reduce operating expenses, payroll cost and increase income. We had funded the water and sewer reserve account and they now have a significant sum of cash in their operating and reserve accounts.
In January 2005, in a coordinated effort, Highbridge began the process of self managing their development.
In May 2001, we were selected by Settlement Housing Fund (SHF), a non-profit housing development corporation, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) to assist them in the management of approximately 400 residential units (in seven buildings) that they were designated to manage, rehabilitate and co-op under New York City’s Third Party Transfer Program. We assumed control of the six buildings from the 7A Administrators who were in control of the buildings. With the assistance of the staff of SHF and UHAB, we have stabilized the buildings and we are now in the process of rehabilitating the buildings.
In May 2006, we were requested by the New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to manage Noble Drew, a 385 unit development located in the Oceanhill Brownsville section of Brooklyn. With the approval of the Owner, the Creditors Committee, the Bankruptcy Court, the Tenant’s Association and The Legal Aid Society, we were selected as Managing Agent.
When we began, the development had approximately 100 “legal” tenants without leases, over 100 vacant apartments and more than 100 “squatters”. Only a few tenants were paying rent. The complex had a high rate of crime and major drug activity. With an operating line of credit provided by the debtor we began our work. We painted the buildings and removed all the graffiti, repaired the intercom system, boilers, front doors, fences, and boarded up the vacant units. We began legal action on non-payers and holdover actions against the squatters. With the assistance of three (3) armed security guards (retired NYC police officers) and HPD’s enforcement unit we were able to reduce crime and drug activity at the complex. In less than one year, approximately 200 tenants had current leases, we boarded up and secured over 150 vacant units and had reduced the squatters units to less than 30.
In January, 2007, a contract was entered into whereby a private developer agreed to purchase the development and planned to rehabilitate the complex at a cost of $25,000,000. In 2008 the developer assumed the management of the property.
As noted above, our history as a management company has been one of action. Over the years, we have come into management situations which needed aggressive management and we feel we were up to the task each and every time. But above all, The Wavecrest Management Team is committed to the betterment of housing in New York City by instilling pride in its buildings and community.