Condo Conversion NYC

by | Last updated Nov 24, 2021 | Multifamily Residential, Property Development

Multifamily Residential buildings must be file with the State Attorney General to achieve Co-Op or Condominium status. the documents for a Co-Op or Condo Conversion are called an Offering Plan.


Condo Conversion Process NYC

  • Develop Building or Convert to Multifamily Residential
    • New Building
    • Convert Existing non multifamily residential to multifamily
    • Convert Commercial to Multifamily
  • Converting Multi Family to Condo NYC
  • Condo Conversion Team
    • Condo conversion architect NYC
    • Condo conversion attorney NYC
  • Proposed Offering Plan “Red Herring”
  • Attorney General Review
  • Tenant’s Rights to Evaluate
  • How Long Does the Review Take
  • Eviction or Noneviction
    • Senior Citizens 
    • Disabled Individuals
    • Dispute of Status
  • Final Offering Plan the “Black Book”
  • Condo Conversion Costs NYC


Develop the Building or Convert To Multifamily

The first step to converting a building to Condo or Co-Op would be to develop the building or to complete a building conversion.

Developing a Condo or Co-Op

If you are developing a new multifamily building you can make a rental, Condo, or Co-Op. If you want it to be a Condo or Co-Op you will file with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The building must be approved, get permits, be built, inspected, and receive a Certificate Of Occupancy. The building must comply with all local Zoning and Building codes.

Converting a Building to Multi Family Residential

If you have an existing building that is not a Multi Family Residential Building it must first be converted to Multi Family Residential in order to do a Condo or Co-Op conversion. Converting to Multifamily is an involved process that must be done through the NYC Department Of Buildings. you can see another post we wrote to learn more about the process of converting to multifamily. You may be converting an existing residential building like a townhouse or converting a nonresidential use to multifamily residential. Converting a commercial building to residential is possible in many cases as well.

  • Brownstone Condo Conversion
  • Convert Townhouse to Condo
  • Convert Commercial Building to Condo


Converting Multi Family to Condo NYC

Existing Rental buildings can be converted to Co-Ops or Condos. A rental to condo conversion is quite common in NYC. Below we will review how to convert apartment buildings to condos in NYC?


Condo Conversion Team

Condo Conversion Architect NYC

If you have developed a new building or done alterations to an existing building you will already have an architect. If not you will need an architect for a Condo or Co-Op Conversion in NYC. The architect will provide plans and a written report that will be part of the entire offering plan for the building.

Condo Conversion Attorney NYC

You will need an a Lawyer for a condo conversion. In fact the attorney will have the primary role in this process. They will complete documents and handle the filling with the Attorney General’s office. Additionally the attorney will prepare the offering plan in coordination with the architect.


How to Convert Apartment Building to Condos NYC


Proposed Offering Plan the “Red Herring”

“The red Herring” is the initial proposed offering plan. It is called that because the Cover Page legend must be printed in red. The owner or sponsor’s lawyer will prepare this document with the architect.


Attorney General Review

The Attorney General’s office may request revisions and additional information based on the Proposed Offering Plan. No units or shares may be sold until the Attorney General’s office accepts the final Offering Plan.


Tenants Rights To Evaluate the Building

The building tenants have a right to hire their own lawyer and architect or engineer to evaluate the Proposed Offering Plan and the building. The sponsor must inform the tenants of their right to have their own architect and engineer evaluate the building and to have their own layers review the proposed offering plan before it is accepted by the Attorney General’s Office. The tenants or their attorney have the right to notify the Attorney General’s Office of issues or discrepancies.


How Long Does it Take for the Attorney General to review an offering plan?

The Attorney General cannot accept an offering plan in under 4 months and must accept it or provide a request for modification within 6 months of the initial filing.


Eviction or Noneviction

If the building is occupied with renters the sponsor may evict or not. If the building is to be converted under an Eviction Plan individuals who do not purchase their units will be evicted. If the building is converted under a noneviction plan the individuals not purchasing units may remain as renters.

Senior Citizens for Condo or Co-Op Conversions

Senior Citizens who are existing rental tenants can not be evicted if they are 62 years old or more and pay their rent.

Disabled Individuals

Under certain circumstances existing disabled renters may not be evicted and can remain as rental tenants.

Dispute of Status

The sponsor has the right to dispute an individual’s exemption status for eviction but must do so within 30 days. The Attorney General’s office will issue a determination with regards to eligibility for exemption.


Final Offering Plan “Black Book”

The “Black Book” is the Final Offering Plan that has been accepted by the Attorney General. The cover must have the date of the Attorney General’s acceptance. The red lettering from the initial offering plan will now be black. A certain number of units must be sold before the Offering Plan is actually in effect.

Existing tenants have 90 days to exclusively purchase their units or shares in the Co-Op.

The Sponsor must post in the building information on the number of units sold for all tenants to see until the Offering Plan is declared effective or abandoned.

The sponsor retains ownership of all apartments not sold at time of the Offering Plan going into effect.


Condo Conversion Costs NYC

The cost to perform a Condo Conversion will vary on a case by case basis. There will be 2 sets of costs hard and soft costs as we say in the industry.

Potential Soft Costs for Condo or Co-Op Conversion

The soft costs will be non construction costs. These will include legal fees, engineering and architectural fees, Filing Fees for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), Testing if needed, and a variety of other costs.

Hard Costs for Co-Op or Condominium Conversion

Hard Costs will be for any actual work performed on the building. This includes construction, repairs, upgrades, materials and labor. Obviously these will vary a great deal.


NYC Codes

As an architect I study codes closely. NYC Codes are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic requirements with regards to Condo and Co-Op conversions in NYC. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Condo Conversions in NYC.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact us directly.


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Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.