Local Lawmakers Gain Delay In Parkchester South Condo Hikes

Sepúlveda, Diaz, James, and Palma Secure One-Month Delay of “Draconian” Hike in Common Charges by Parkchester South but Vow “All Options Still Open”


Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda said that the decision by Parkchester South management to defer the threatened across-the-board 15.19 percent increase in common charges assessed all owner-residents was “a positive but insufficient development.”

“Obviously,” Sepúlveda continued, “the board of directors heard — loudly and clearly — the demand by the community and its representatives for explanations and our determination to do whatever it takes to prevent exorbitant and unsubstantiated increases.”

The deferral was announced in a December 17 “Dear Unit Owner” letter from Board President Abu Shakoor which stated that management “recommended deferring the planned increase to Common Charges for 30 days.” The letter went on to assert that the board of directors was “preparing information for you to address and explain the need for the increase,” followed immediately, nonetheless, with a declaration that the increases will begin in February.

Sepúlveda cautioned, however, that “all options” remain open — referring to the possibility of seeking an injunction or demanding that management agree to the hiring of an independent auditor to impartially review the numbers behind the increase.

It was just one week ago that more than 700 owner-residents turned out at a town hall meeting held by Sepúlveda, State Senator Rev Ruben Diaz, and Council Member Annabel Palma at St. Paul’s Lutheran Evangelical Church to address the common charges increase.

Assemblyman Sepúlveda reiterated his criticism of the way management was handling the issue and sharply rebuked them for insensitivity to the community. “The fact that repairs may be necessary throughout Parkchester South,” said Sepúlveda, “does not justify management’s imposing draconian increases that will be devastating to the elderly, single families, the disabled, and others who are already struggling to keep up.”

Sepúlveda also had lambasted Parkchester South management — Board President Shakoor in particular — for having pledged to attend last week’s town hall meeting but then reneging, with no explanation.

“They were no shows,” Sepúlveda stated. “Apparently they decided that other business was more important than the 15.19 percent increase that they have been attempting to shove down people’s throats.”

“I am deeply concerned about the proposed 15% hike in common charges for residents of Parkchester South Condominiums and the significant impact that it will have on the hard-working families in this community,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “That’s why I am committed to working with Assembly Member Sepúlveda, State Senator Diaz, and Council Member Palma on behalf of residents to urge the Management Board of Parkchester South to consider a more reasonable agreement.”

“It has been one month since I formerly requested copies of past and proposed budgets from Parkchester South, and I have not received them. In the spirit of transparency, I reiterate my request so we can review the decision-making process of Parkchester’s Management with Parkchester residents, and any members of Management who decide to attend our January Town Hall Meeting. During our December 14th Town Hall Meeting, I requested that New York City Public Advocate Letitia James write a letter to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman calling for an investigation of Parkchester South Condominium, Inc., and I have yet to receive a copy of that letter,” said Senator Diaz.

“Parkchester South Condominium’s decision to delay the implementation of the proposed maintenance fee increase until February is a tentative step in the right direction. I’m hopeful that the board will use this time to reassess its financial needs, while understanding — and taking into account — the impact this has on its tenants. My colleagues and I will continue to have conversations with management, and the board, until we can facilitate a solution amenable to all parties involved,” stated Council Member Palma.

Assemblyman Sepulveda, Senator Diaz, and Council Member Palma, who represent the Parkchester South Condominium, are planning a town hall meeting for early January to further discuss these rate increases with Parkchester residents.

The Bronx Chronicle was unable to obtain a comment from the Parkchester South Management because its offices were closed for the Christmas holiday.

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