Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nightmare on Ninth Street: Is the megadorm project alive again?

When I noticed that the sidewalk shed at the former P.S. 64/CHARAS/El Bohio community center behind the Christodora on Ninth Street had been removed, I revisited previous posts on the topic... such as this one from last summer announcing the rebranded project: the University House at Tompkins Square Park.

You can read that post here.

The attempts to redevelop this space has a long, complicated history... Gregg Singer, the building's owner, unsuccessfully tried for years to get a megadorm project off the ground. In March 2009, Singer told The Villager that he's still an investor, but he had moved "onto other stuff." His megadorm was shot down by a judge two years ago.

I did a little more searching for the University House at Tompkins Square Park and this popped up ...


This is all probably part of the old plans (or a hoax!), except that it was, as I understand it, only branded University House at Tompkins Square Park last summer. And, interestingly enough, this is a standalone Web page that lives under the Singer domain, but you can't access it from the Singer Financial Corporation site. I found it via a Google search.

Regardless, this is the first time that I've seen the above rendering in about six years ... If anything, then maybe this can serve as a "what could have been" ... Here is some info from the Web site, which lists that the project will completed in July 2010/11... (You can find all the floorplans here.)

A through block site just off Tompkins Square Park to be developed into a 23-story school dormitory in the East Village of Manhattan.

University House will be a consortium of universities sharing a single state of the art facility. There are single room suites and double room suites, all of which have kitchens and bathrooms. The universities will be able to secure housing designed, operated and managed for students at affordable rents with amenities not found in apartment buildings or hotels.

This safe and affordable residence hall will provide beautiful views of Tompkins Square Park to the west and the East River to the east providing sun drenched living spaces for all its inhabitants.

Amenities include wireless internet access throughout the interior and exterior common areas, an outdoor garden, basketball court, a world class fitness center with separate areas for weight training, cardio fitness, stretching and dance/aerobics, lounge, common and private study rooms hard wired with internet access outlets, music rooms, game room with pool tables and ping pong tables, TV screening room, laundry room, and bicycle storage room. Private offices for university staff.

Be curious to find out what, if anything, is going on here... No new work permits have been posted via the DOB. And for a crash course on the headlines through the years, here's a link to the East Village Community Coalition, who collected many of the articles on the project. (Mostly via The Villager!) And here are some from Curbed.


Bowery Boogie said...

looks like EV Heave will have lots to document on this one.

Anonymous said...

More than likely, Singer is running out of money. His 12.5 million milking of PS 64 back in 2004 is probably nearly dry after paying legal fees, taxes, mortgage, security, demolition costs, architect's fees, insurance, management fees and a few other things I'm not aware of--so perhaps, just perhaps, he decided to remove the useless street bridging on 9th and 10th streets that are also costly and charged by the month. Or perhaps as is Singer's habit, he just stopped paying this particular bill and the scaffolding company took their tinker toys home...