Harlem apartment block hikes monthly resident charges more than 21%

0379 0561682 Addie Mannix (2020-05-22)

A Manhattan apartment block has residents outraged after deciding to raise monthly fees for the building by 21.8 per cent. 

The Aurum building, which was built in 2015 and is located in Central Harlem, announced the sudden increase in charges less than 10 days before they came into effect.    

In an email to apartment owners the building's managers admitted 'we are incredibly sensitive to the uncertain nature of the economic environment' adding, 'the timing of the increase couldn't possibly be worse'. 

New York City is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

As of Monday, nearly 137,000 city residents tested positive for coronavirus and more than 10,000 have died.

Since the outbreak, more than 1.1 million residents of New York State have filed for unemployment benefits. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to AKAM Associates for comment but so far none has been received. 

The hike in common charges was announced in an email sent to the building's residents on March 23 - just nine days before they were due to take effect on April 1.

If you loved this write-up and you would such as to obtain more details concerning neighborhood that fosters a sense of community. It is essential to enjoying your home as wel... See More kindly visit the web-site. The Aurum, a condominium apartment building in central Harlem, recently informed its tenants that they would be required to pay 21.8 per cent more in common charges

Tenants were shocked to receive a notice from the property manager announcing the hike, which is aimed at meeting higher costs for building security and utilities

AKAM, the management company, said in its email to tenants that the heightened expenses are due to ‘double digit increases in the cost of our security guard contracted labor.'

It is the second consecutive year that the building's security expenditures increased by more than 10 per cent, according to AKAM.

The company said that beginning in April, it is shifting to a ‘direct hire concierge staffing model.'

'The general security of the building has often been raised as a concern by residents, and we have heard those requests clearly,' AKAM wrote in its letter to resident. 

AKAM said the new funding will provide enough money to staff four full-time concierges and one part-time concierge from the 32BJ Service Employees International Union.

The company provided a budgetary breakdown of the various expenses, including massive year-to-year increases in spending on gas, water and sewage, repairs and maintenance, and administrative fees.

AKAM informed residents that the hike in common charge fees are a ‘corrective budgetary change' and that changes for next year's budget will ‘more closely mirror inflation.'





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DailyMail.com has reached out to the condo's board to seek clarifications.

One of the building's residents launched an online petition demanding that the board running Aurum postpone the fee increases.

‘Due to the COVID crisis, there's a lot of uncertainty in people's financial future, the health of family and friends, and even our own lives,' wrote LJ Finney.

The building offers several amenities, including a rooftop deck (seen above)

Two-bedroom apartments in the complex have sold recently for as much as $1.1million, records show

‘The concern is not specifically referring to today's financial state, it is for tomorrow, the day after that, and the day that companies reassess and downsize their staff.'

Finney also claimed that the building did not give proper advance notice.

She is demanding that the charges be put on hold until Governor Andrew Cuomo lifts the statewide ‘pause' on nonessential businesses that was announced due to the pandemic.

As of late Monday night, the petition has generated 52 signatures. 

The Aurum is a new development that began housing tenants in 2016.

Built on the site of the former Lafayette Theater, the 115-unit opened to a great deal of fanfare, particularly after it was given a 25-year tax abatement by the city.

The 421a tax abatement is an arrangement whereby the city dramatically reduces property taxes for a set period of time in order to encourage development of underused or unused land.

The building includes amenities such as a gym, in-building laundry, available parking, a roof deck, a bike room, and a doorman.

Recent records show that two-bedroom apartments in the complex sold for as much as $1.1million.  


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