A full house at Co-op City

Co-op City is just about filled, with few if any units vacant.

Good luck finding an apartment at Co-op City.

The world’s largest housing development has never been hotter.

The northeast Bronx complex is as packed as it has ever been, according to a report from its management.

Only two truly ‘open’

Only 105 apartments are currently available out of over 15,000 units total, according to the Riverbay Group, which manages the massive series of properties.

And nearly all of those 105 open apartments are already in some stage of the sale process, according to Riverbay’s report, first published in the Co-op City Times.

In fact, the only two apartments in the entire complex both vacant and not already in some part of the sale process, says Riverbay, are the two units being used as sales models.

Big chance, big mall

The vacancy rate of .006% is a far cry from 25 years ago, when in 1993 over 10% of apartments at Co-op City were empty.

Since 2000, the development has hovered at around 99% full rate, though many residents left in 2003 and 2004 when the there garages shut down, forcing thousands of cars onto the street.

But with a citywide housing shortage and the Bay Plaza mall soon to open nearby, Co-op City management said their office is being flooded with applications.

“Co-op City is up and coming as usual, and even more so now because of the mall being built,” said Sheen McNeil, Riverbay’s director of sales. “It’s affordable, it’s a city within itself, and I just think this is the best deal right now.”

McNeil says her office gets around 175 applications a month, even though it has slowed down its advertising campaign. Potential residents must meet credit score and minimum and maximum income requirements.

Rare ‘amnesty’ rule

Perhaps emboldened by the swelling waiting list, Co-op City management is turning its attention to its residents who are illegally subletting apartments.

“I’m not going to say it’s widespread, but you do hear cases hear and there,” said McNeil.

The company is offering an amnesty program to residents who live in Co-op City now and rent their home illegally on the secondhand market.

Those residents have until the end of September to come forward and formally apply to be a shareholder.

If residents do not come forward, Riverbay is vowing to send its legal department to evict them.

“Maybe you weren’t aware that this was illegal, maybe you didn’t know that this was something you couldn’t do,” said McNeil. “This is the perfect time to allow people to come forward and have their name on a stock certificate and be the legal resident of the unit.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

More from Around NYC