There are a lot of websites out there that can tell you everything you want to know about a residential building in New York City. StreetEasy can show you floorplans and amenities. The Department of Buildings can tell you how a place is zoned or what its roof is used for. The library can give you a detailed history. But there's no resource that brings all these elements together. Enter, Condopedia, a wiki for condo and co-op buildings. Founded by real estate agent Laurence Putnam, the site provides all of the above, plus more, in the easy-to-use Wikipedia format that people are familiar with.
Condopedia is an open-source work-in-progress, so there are currently only 226 NYC buildings in the database, but the building pages are very informative. The top right corner has a photo of the exterior, plus standard details like the developer, architect, number of units, when it was built, how its zoned, and a link to a map of its location. Text sections detail the building's history, construction process, layout, amenities, bylaws, and random trivia. There's also a section with sample floorplans and a place for users to leave comments and rate the building.
What the site does not have is listings; Putnam felt that there were plenty of sites that already adequately provide that information. However, it would be useful to include something that indicates selling prices in the building, whether its the average price per square foot or the most expensive unit ever sold. Condopedia also does not include under-construction buildings.
All users will have to create an account, which Putnam hopes will help track editing changes and cut down on spam. He wants to make the site profitable by selling banner ads to brokers. "A smart broker could sort of sponsor the page of the building their selling, reaching new potential buyers who might stumble across the building online," Putnam told Crain's.
Condopedia definitely has a lot of potential, but it would be nice to see more linkage within the building pages. For instance, it would be useful to be able to click on "TF Cornerstone" and have the link take you to a list of buildings they manage.
· Condopedia [official]
· Website Aims to be a Wikipedia for NY Condos [Crain's]