Co-op City is a New York State Mitchell-Lama housing cooperative with 15,372 residential units in 35 high-rise buildings and seven (7) townhouse clusters that consist of garden and duplex apartments. It is the largest single residential development in the United States with a population of approximately 50,000 residents. There are three shopping centers on Co-op City property, three community centers, eight parking garages, professional offices and an education park with elementary through high school on the grounds. The development is located across from one of the largest shopping centers in New York City, Mall at Bay Plaza. It is accessible by public transportation to all points of the city, including an express bus to Manhattan. A Metro-North railroad station is also planned for Co-op City pending completion of the Penn Station Access Project.
In December 2018, Co-op City celebrated its 50th anniversary of providing affordable homes to a diverse cross section of middle-income New Yorkers.
Riverbay Corporation is the corporate entity of Co-op City.
Riverbay Residential Sales Department is the exclusive agent for all apartment sales in Co-op City.
Co-op City is best known for two things rare in New York City – natural, open spaces and affordability. Only 20 percent of the property’s 320 acres is developed.
The development is financially stable. The historic 2012 mortgage refinancing guaranteed low interest rates for decades, saving shareholders millions in interest payments and ensuring Co-op City remains in New York State’s Mitchell-Lama housing program for many years to come.
Co-op City is intergenerational. It has a vibrant and engaged senior population. JASA Social Services operates senior services programs in each of Co-op City’s three community centers located within walking distance to clusters of residential buildings for easy access. These centers provide lunch, activities, programs, trips and a variety of other venues for seniors to socialize in their own community.
Throughout the development, there are tot-lot play areas, bike and walking paths, outdoor exercise equipment, basketball and tennis courts, a little league field, and even a community garden. There are also several houses of worship of different faiths. Eight parking garages centrally located in each of the five sections of the development offer more than 10,000 parking spaces for vehicle owners and transient parking.
Each of the three community centers (Dreiser, Bartow and Einstein) also offer rooms for rent for meetings, parties and other family events. There is also a wide array of stores in each shopping center, including grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, medical offices and a U.S. Postal office.
In addition to local shopping centers, there are additional retail, dining and entertainment options at one of the largest shopping malls in New York City, the Mall at Bay Plaza, located right across from Co-op City. Public transportation makes travel to Manhattan for work or entertainment a relatively quick trip. Easy access to the New England Thruway (I-95) and Hutchinson River Parkway facilitate travel to New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island
In December 2018, Co-op City celebrated its 50th anniversary as “the largest cooperative housing community in the nation” that stands “as a beacon of affordability, diversity, and cooperativism.”
The development was conceived by Abraham E. Kazan and sponsored by the United Housing Foundation (UHF), a coalition of labor unions established by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACW). Kazan later became Co-op City’s first president.
ACW president Sidney Hillman had successfully won Governor Al Smith’s support for the passage of the New York State Housing Act of 1926, which offered a 20-year tax exemption to limited-dividend corporations. In 1927, several decades before plans for Co-op City were on the drawing board, ACW developed its pioneer apartment complex, Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, a limited-equity multi-unit residence in the northwest Bronx, providing affordable housing for hundreds of families. The guiding force behind that project was Kazan.
Herman Jessor, Kazan’s chief architect, had already designed over 40,000 units for different projects sponsored by ACW and UHF. He, like Kazan, was an advocate for affordable housing for working people. Jessor believed in utilizing modern technology and insisted that his designers focus on speed and economy, a practice that significantly lowered cost.View More
The concept of building Co-op City became a reality with the passage of Article II of the Private Housing Finance Law (better known as the Mitchell-Lama Law) in 1955 and the establishment of the state’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA). This body had the authority to sell low-interest, tax-free bonds to finance the building of Co-op City. Under the Mitchell-Lama (M-L) program, a total of 95,000 units in New York City, as well as upstate New York, came into being. The agency financed 90% of the construction cost of Co-op City.
The core mission of the M-L program was to build housing for middle-income working families, who were caught in a financial no-man’s land where, on one hand, they earned too much money to qualify for public housing, but on the other, could not afford to buy or rent on the open market. (M-L applicants were subjected to a maximum-income limitation.)
In the mid-1960s, Jacob Potofsky, then-president of ACW and head of Co-op City’s sponsoring group, UHF, campaigned for and won the support of Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mayor Robert Wagner (and later, of Mayor John Lindsay) to build Co-op City. Among those who wielded shovels at Co-op City’s groundbreaking, on May 14, 1966, were some of the state’s most illustrious figures: Rockefeller, Lindsay, Co-op City President Kazan, Potofsky, then-Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo and Robert Moses, chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Also included among those wielding shovels were the children of Co-op City applicants.
Co-op City’s principles, which its shareholders have supported for half a century, include the following:
Another of Co-op City’s principles is a policy of non-discriminatory diversity, a principle that is reflected in the findings of the 2010 Census which showed the community’s demographic composition as follows:
|Young people (less than 19 years old, 8,500)||20% of the total Co-op City population|
One other notable feature of Co-op City is that it is the largest Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) in our nation: approximately 19,000 cooperators who are over 62 years old – many of whom have aged in place – live in the development, constituting nearly half (47%) of Co-op City’s entire population.
Diversity has played a role in making Co-op City a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, middle income cooperative. Other amenities that enhance the lives of shareholders include the park-like setting – 80% of the land remains open space.
Co-op City apartments are airy and spacious, with A/C, modern fixtures and flooring. The community operates three shopping centers, three community centers with meeting rooms and auditoriums and eight parking garages. On the grounds, there are also childcare centers, playgrounds, a public library and even an outdoor stage as well as a fire house; a former, but now vacant, cinema; and the only education park in New York City.
Co-op City also has the largest, non-utility company – a state-of-the-art trigeneration power plant that produces heat, hot and chilled water (for A/C during the summer) and electricity for the development. Charges for gas, water, electricity, and air conditioning are all included in shareholders’ monthly carrying charges. The community also has its own public safety department and weekly newspaper, the Co-op City Times.
Like all Mitchell-Lama cooperatives, Co-op City is supervised by the state’s division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR). Riverbay Corporation, the corporate entity of Co-op City, receives a shelter-rent tax abatement, and senior citizens and cooperators with disabilities may be eligible for carrying charge increase exemptions through the city’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE).
Over the last 50 years, Co-op City shareholders have continued to support state funding of original construction defects and stress the necessity of keeping their homes affordable. Shareholders join in honoring the legacy they inherited from earlier generations of cooperators by being prepared to continue the fight that has made their development what it is today – a thriving community that’s still the best deal in town!View Less
Co-op City shareholders are represented by a fifteen-member volunteer Board of Directors comprised of shareholders. The board provides guidance and oversight to the property managers, and ensures Co-op City is operated in a manner consistent with professional management practices. The board encourages shareholder involvement in governance of the community by joining board committees chaired by directors which allows for exchange of ideas and input among shareholders, directors and management personnel who attend committee meetings.
Riverbay Board elections are held annually. Any shareholder of record who meets criteria outlined in the annual Riverbay Board of Directors’ Election Rules & Regulations has a right to run for and be elected to the Riverbay Board of Directors, to elect directors and to participate in the annual shareholders meeting.
Mission Statement: “The mission of the Board of Directors of the Riverbay Corporation is to preserve affordable housing while maintaining an environment that provides and sustains a high quality of life standard for all cooperators.
“The Board of Directors will apply special focus on fostering an environment of cooperative living that supports a sense of community and that encourages shareholder participation in the overall governance of the residency.
“The Board will endeavor to always utilize responsible financial management that is transparent, of the highest standard of integrity; and is dedicated to providing effective business handling. The Board will conduct business on behalf of the Corporation in compliance with the Riverbay By-Laws, HUD/HCR Rules and Regulations, and all applicable federal, state and city laws.”
Douglas Elliman Property Management (www.ellimanpm.com) was hired by Riverbay Corporation in July 2016 to manage Co-op City. The Douglas Elliman onsite team, headed by Executive General Manager Bob Klehammer and Assistant Executive General Manager Cary Smith III, have compiled a comprehensive 5-year capital improvement plan to address Co-op City’s aging infrastructure and improve service delivery to the development’s 15,372 residential high-rise apartment units, townhouse apartments and commercial tenants. The managers have completed a number of legacy capital projects and improvements as well as several others identified from an in-depth assessment of the development’s needs. Some major capital improvements include new lobby entrances for residential buildings; Local Law 11 work, installation of a water treatment system in the power plant; modernization of all 160 residential elevators in the development’s high-rise buildings with state-of-the-art functionality; renovation of all laundry rooms with energy efficient washers, dryers and pay system; installation of new garage access control and payment systems, and installation of modern cabinets, fixtures and flooring in vacant apartments. Their work also includes ongoing training for employees and improved business practices to ensure professional delivery of services to the community’s shareholders in the most fiscally responsible manner.
The Douglas Elliman team is ably supported by Riverbay Corporation’s General Manager Noel Ellison and Assistant General Manager Warren Mitchell whose knowledge and experience enhance management of day-to-day operations and delivery of quality customer service to the homeowners of the development.
DOING BUSINESS WITH RIVERBAY
The Riverbay Procurement Services Department provides effective and efficient procedures for the acquisition of quality goods and services at the best competitive prices. The department is committed to ethical procedures conducted in compliance with NYS Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) guidelines and applicable policies.
Riverbay utilizes a wide variety of goods and services that include, but are not limited to:
Contractors, vendors and MWBE suppliers are encouraged to register on our list of qualified bidders. Click here to register:
Riverbay Procurement Services department is located at 2049 Bartow Avenue, Bronx NY 10475; (718) 320-3300.
Interested in a commercial lease in Co-op City? The Riverbay Parking, Commercial Leasing and Storage department is located at 2049 Bartow Avenue, rm. 23, Bronx, NY 10475. For information or an appointment, you may contact the office at (718) 320-3300, press option 5.
For employment opportunities, please visit the following links below:
Candidates may review full position descriptions and apply directly at either site.
Current Riverbay employees should submit a transfer request and resumé directly to the HR department, [email protected].
Thank you for your interest in working for Riverbay Corporation.
Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee an applicant an interview. Riverbay Corporation is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for all positions without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, alienage, citizenship, color, religion, national origin, age, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, military status, disability or any other recognized protected basis under any applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances. Please inform Human Resources if you need assistance completing any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.
To contact Human Resources, you may send an email to [email protected], or call (718) 320-3300, ext. 3420.