When it comes to design and maintenance projects, co-op and condo boards can sometimes need help implementing their ideas. A New York architecture practice has expanded its focus to include helping building boards through every aspect of the renovation process — from planning to applying for city permits to choosing a roofer.
This venture, Katz Consulting, is a new focus of the 10-year-old Katz Architecture, which has worked on a number of residential projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In addition to the company’s work as a building architect for buildings like 177 Dwayne Street and 240 Center Street, David Katz, the firm’s founding principal, noticed that “this other type of work was creeping in, where we would work with boards or management companies to resolve problems that the building as a whole was dealing with.”
“It’s problem solving really,” Katz said. And no other architecture firms offer this type of consultancy right now, he said. And while an owner’s representative might do a similar job, they often bring in an architect. Retaining Katz would simplify the process.
The aging infrastructure in New York City may demand this new, specialized company, Katz noted. He recalled a renovation at the Woolworth building, where terracotta panels that had been in place for decades were removed. Because no one had any idea the wind pressures they had been exposed to, workers were unprepared for the fact that many of the panels exploded when they were removed, Katz said. That is the sort of issue that Katz Consulting intends to combat, he said.
“I found that [co-op boards] were approaching projects they had no idea how to deal with,” Katz said. “It could be something mundane like painting, or changing the mailboxes out, and they are totally overwhelmed about the basic filings, especially, if they are in a landmarked district,” he said.
Katz Architecture’s current projects include the renovation of the St. George Hotel, in Brooklyn Heights.