Residential Building Keys
Updated April 2012
Parkchester South Condominium has converted the residential building keys from the ComKey system to the new Access Key system. Both keys work similarly in that the key fob contains a coded personal identification number assigned to a resident with authorized access to that building which when placed in contact with a door reader causes the door to unlock. All registered residents 13 years and older and all unit owners are entitled to a building Access Key.
The new Access Key is now installed in the West, East and South clusters. Key exchanges in all South building lobbbies were completed on December 3, 2011. In order to make it as convenient for residents to exchange their ComKey fob for the new Access Key fob, the new key fob was distributed over the course of two to three nights along with a Saturday in the lobbies of a building cluster. Staff were available to exchange key fobs and confirm that the new key fob worked as expected.
The free exchange ended in March of 2012. All new or replacement keys must be ordered through the Service Department at 2000 East Tremont Avenue and a fee must be paid for the the key. You may call 718-518-1000 a day in advance and pay for the key by cash or credit card when picked up. In order to obtain a new key you must sign or have previously signed the key card and show acceptable photo identification.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What will I need to do to obtain the new Access Key fob?
A. Show photo identification, sign for the Key Card and pay the fee (see price list on this website from the main page menu).
Q. What are acceptable forms of photo identification?
A. Typically, the identification you used at the time of apartment registration will be sufficient. This was most likely a driver's license, state-issued photo identification or a passport. In the case of a child 13 or older, a school issued photo identification card or both the child and the child's parent and guardian who are registered in the apartment must be present with acceptable photo identification..
Q. Why did you convert to a new Building Key System?
A. The ComKey System was a proprietary system built using older technology and with parts no longer available. The ComKey system was very labor intensive and inefficient to manage, less secure and did not support network data transmission.
Q. Are there any advantages to the new Building Key System?
A. Definitely. Over the last five years the Condominium has completely retrofitted a property built in 1939 with 21st century technology. Over 40,000 feet of fiber optic cable and over 300,000 feet of category 5e and 6 data cable has been installed throughout every cluster and building as well as our administrative office. This fiber optic cable with multiple 10 gigabit backbones and over 80 network switches is connected to 14 file servers in our data center at 2000 East Tremont Avenue performing a variety of functions that were once performed manually or not at all.
The ComKey system with its older technology does not support Ethernet or TCP/IP systems over a Local Area Network. Key information must be loaded onto a special device at our administrative office and hand carried by an employee to the building where it is downloaded to the building controller. As new residents require keys or residents lose their existing keys, this process must be repeated daily requiring manpower that is not necessary with the new Access Key system.
Access Key runs on a Windows Server 2003 (or 2008) file server and has client-server architecture. Multiple clients, that is, staff can be connected at their computer workstations to the system and manage new and lost keys. Each building's controllers and individual door key fob readers can be monitored for problems or anomalies. Problems can also be detected with each key fob. A key that is reported lost or stolen can be deleted immediately. Authorized key use and unauthorized door openings can be monitored in conjunction with our video surveillance system for the increased security and safety of our residents.
Incidentally, this new LAN technology has also permitted us to install over 400 video surveillance cameras recording 24/7 and centrally monitored. We have converted our older heat control systems to new systems that can be controlled remotely rather than requiring a mechanic to open and close valves. We have also created efficiencies and cut expenses by managing our internal telephone and computer systems in our remote offices.
Q. I would like an extra building key as a spare. How do I go about obtaining one?
A. There are no provisions for spare keys although you can now arrange for a key for a caregiver (see next question and answer below). This question and its many variations to obtain spare keys for residents or for friends and family not living in the apartment is one of the most frequently asked question and the answer to which many residents find objection.
In the early years of Parkchester, there was no need to lock the building entrances. Later, as times changed, the building entrances were keyed and each family was given two keys which they could duplicate. Overtime there were countless keys in circulation for which no one could account. In the early 1990's. Parkchester deployed the ComKey program, an electronic key system, in an effort to eliminate key duplication and initially still issued two keys to a family with allowances for additional keys to resident family members. This program was an improvement but there was still no practical way to track the extra keys that were issued since each door controller had its own independent database. Also, if a key was lost, there was little incentive to report it since it was not the same as losing the key to one's apartment. These keys were sometimes passed on to others with less than good intentions.
What has also changed is that we live in a more litigious society. Residents hold the Condominium responsible for individuals inside our buildings who commit criminal acts and not the resident or former resident that gave their key away, lost their spare key but saw no need need to report it for deletion as they still had a spare key, or otherwise allowed some one with criminal intent into the building. We have taken many steps to maintain a satisfying quality of life for our residents including deploying a large Public Safety force; installing video surveillance in all of our entrances and throughout virtually every outdoor area space; upgrading our building security key system and strengthening the policies for the distribution and management of keys and who is authorized to gain entrance.
As anyone who follows the news is aware, increasing security management systems and policies in our country and in our city as well as in our community at Parkchester does come with some inconveniences and inability to do what was once taken for granted.
Finally, all of our buildings are registered with the New York City Police Department under the Safe Buildings Program which means that even though our buildings are private property the NYPD as well as our Public Safety Officers can operate openly or undercover and can arrest anyone for trespassing who is not a registered occupant (or non-resident owner) or cannot prove at that moment that they have been granted permission to enter by a registered resident or non-resident owner. Simply being in possession of a building key does not constitute proof. Registrations are maintained on our database servers as well as on the Key Card every apartment owner and resident signs.
Q. I would like a key for a caregiver who does not live with me?. How do I go about obtaining one?
A. A key for a caregiver is decided on a case by case basis. A caregiver of an elderly or disabled person living alone must register with Parkchester South Condominium and have received written permission of the resident. The caregiver will then be entered into our database and on the Key Card. The caregiver must register in person and have valid identification such as a state issued driver's license, state issued non-driver identification card, or a Passport. The caregiver may be a family member or an agency. Proof of disability may be required. To obtain a key for a caregiver, contact our Resident Services Department (718-823-7000) or if you are a leaseholder of Parkchester Preservation Management contact the Leasing Department (718-536-2000).
Q. I am an owner of multiple apartments in the Parkchester South Condominium. How do I obtain building keys?
A. An owner of multiple apartments can obtain a multi-unit owner key for themselves, their agents or family members that may be assisting them in managing their properties. A multi-unit owner key will grant access to all buildings in which apartments are owned. There is no additional fee for this service other than the cost of the key itself. The owner will need to provide the names and identification information of those individuals to whom access should be granted and certify that they are his or her employees, agents, or family members and that they will not be residents in the apartments. Arrangements for multi-unit owner keys are made through our Service Department (718-518-1000).
Q. Who do I contact if I have still have questions or would like more information regarding the new Access Key system?
A. You may contact Andre Butler, Director of Information Technology, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.