Nine Island Avenue’s new association board didn’t choose a new management company Wednesday, after deciding last week to terminate its contract with the Continental Group, but still accomplished some goals in the wake of a chaotic week on the Belle Isle condominium.
New President Jeff Stokols announced early that the board would not choose a new company Wednesday night, which calmed many of the roughly 70 unit owners attending the meeting. The two-and-one-half-hour meeting started with some conflict — board member Boris Klopukh complained about the process that led to the contentious meeting the week before — but ended with unit owners telling the new board they agreed on goals but wanted a less rushed process than they saw the week before.
“We agree with you on the ends but not on all the means,” unit owner Roy Samuel said near the end of the meeting. Stokols said the board learned from its experience the previous week.
Earlier in the meeting, board member Mora Israel told the crowd that upon reflection, she felt the board moved too quickly the week before, and would be more deliberative.
You can read a recounting of the meeting from last night’s live blog here.
Unit owners heard a presentation from Continental on how they would better manage the building if they got a new contract, and then received a brief presentation and had a long question and answer session with KW Property Management, a somewhat smaller but fast-growing South Florida company that appears to be favored by the new board president.
A third firm, Miami Management, was unable to make its scheduled presentation Thursday night, and Stokols said the board would schedule time for them to do so during the next month. He said the board would vote on a new company at its May meeting.
Unit owners were generally underwhelmed with what they heard from Continental’s Steve Titleman, who showed a video and a powerpoint that outlined a variety of ways the company would improve operations at a building they have managed for 12 years. At one point, the owners broke out in applause when he was asked why they hadn’t initiated these improvements before they received notice that Nine Island wanted to change companies.
KW principal Paul Kaplan outlined the benefits of KW’s accounting services and said it manages several luxury buildings with similar challenges as Nine Island due to their age and need for updating.In response to several questions about retaining current Nine Island staff, he said staffers (such as the valet, security and front office) who are employees of the building would be generally be retained. Staffers who are employed by Continental Group likely would not be because Nine Island will have to pay Continental 30 percent of their salary as a fee under the building contract. It would be an option, he said, but in similar cases has proved cost-prohibitive.
Before a vote is taken, Stokols said, the board will receive more specific cost projections from the competing companies.
We’ll keep you posted at your BelleIsleBlog.