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Ian K. Katz Group

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Lobby Renovations

What steps should one take to plan and execute a building lobby redesign?

The first thing you and your guests see when they arrive at your cooperative or condominium building is your lobby. Here are the steps to take when considering it’s renovation.

Get consensus on scope of work by discussing it with both a Manhattan broker and an architect who knows the area design landscape. Then, pose your findings to your board, and find five fellow owners or shareholders with good taste and complimentary skills to see the project through.

Look at your lobby practically. Does it serve as a place to lounge, meet neighbors, and congregate, or is it more for passing through to collect mail and dry cleaning? Gather opinions on whether this could or should change. See competing co-op or condo lobbies to get ideas.

Engage at least two designers who specialize in residential common spaces and get their specs. Ask for them to break their expenses down into line items to ensure you are comparing them properly. Approve a budget, and expect over $5,000 to go to initial designs.

Present at least two designs to the board, and call a shareholder/owner vote to select one. Make sure several contractors are interviewed and see their work. Plan for entry and exit changes and stagger work logically.

When finished, make sure to promote the new lobby, and your building’s added value, to the real estate community and the press.