Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My building wants to put in a gym, but I'm worried about the expense. How do I stop this?

By Dianne Ackerman  | August 2, 2019 - 12:00PM

Keep in mind if you have a gym in your building, you would save money on a private gym.


My building is considering putting in a small gym in a space now used for storage. Most of my fellow shareholders like the private gym we use and are afraid that this plan could involve significant costs for the building. Is there anything we can do to head this off? Signed, Wary Weight Lifter

Dear Wary,

While this change may certainly cost a considerable amount, gyms do increase the value of a building. Depending on how much this renovation costs, a majority of the shareholders may have to vote for it in order for it to go into effect. In our building, we need three fourths of a quorum to approve significant expenditures.

The first thing you should do is contact your management company and/or board president. Try and get all of the information. Will the cost increase the maintenance, or will there be an assessment? Is there enough money in the reserve fund to cover part or all of the cost? Will there be storage created somewhere else?

In my building, we once considered putting in a gym but opted for a storage room instead. We charge a monthly fee for each storage unit and all were quickly rented as soon as they were built. So, after we paid for the renovation, the charge became income for the building on an on-going basis. If there is a fee to use your gym, then it could bring in revenue in the same way. And if you have a building gym, you as an individual would save money on a private gym.

So, get all the facts first and then think of the money you might save as well, plus the benefit of not having to go out into the rain or snow to lift those weights.

Ms. Demeanor

Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.


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