Monday, August 3, 2015

Development drama continues at the former P.S. 64, where the city approved dorm-conversion permits (again)

[Photo from Saturday]

The saga of the former P.S. 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street is now in its 17th year ... on this occasion, there are a few developments to note as landlord Gregg Singer continues his quest to convert the landmarked space into student housing.

The DOB approved permits for conversion of the existing building to a college dormitory dated from June 19.

This approval apparently caught local activists and politicians by surprise. Last September, the DOB issued a Stop Work Order to halt any construction that may have begun under a Partial Work Permit that was issued based on misinformation to the department, according to City Councilmember Rosie Mendez's office.

Here's Off the Grid with a report from Friday:

At a meeting [last] week of the SOCCC-64 (Save Our Charas Community Center PS 64) steering committee, Mendez said she was deeply frustrated with DOB’s apparent lack of oversight, issuing permits when the developer still does not appear to be adhering to the requirements of the community facility use restriction: that is, signed leases with qualifying institutions, rather than promises of leases with organizations that may or may not qualify.

When recently contacted by The Villager, Singer said that he wasn't commenting on the project.

The latest Schedule A on file with the DOB shows the following…

[Click on image to go big]

The proposed plans show "sleeping accommodations" for Joffrey Ballet … as well as "music practice rooms" on floors 2-4 and "individualized dance instruction studio" on floors 3-4. The fifth floor and mezzanine remain vacant.

In any event, the approved permits may be short-lived. On Friday, the DOB added a "notice to revoke" message atop the permit.

Check out the Off the Grid post for more details on the current situation.

Singer bought the formerly city-owned building in 1998 for $3.15 million … and has to date unsuccessfully been able to convert the long-emtpy space into a dorm. Meanwhile, there has been a movement to return the building between Avenue B and Avenue C to use as a cultural and community center.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rebranded P.S. 64 up for grabs: Please welcome University House at Tompkins Square Park to the neighborhood

Deed for 'community facility use only' at the former P.S. 64 now on the market

Efforts continue to fight the dorm planned for the former PS 64 on East 9th Street

Testimony Of Councilmember Rosie Mendez regarding the former PS 64

[Updated] At the 'Save Our Community Center MARCH AND RALLY'

Landmarks Preservation Commission asks to see modified plans for former PS 64

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approves application for modifications at PS 64

'Misinformation' cited as DOB issues Stop Work Order at the former PS 64; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon


cmarrtyy said...

The issue is clear. Or rather it should be clear to all who live work in the EV or govern the EV. We have too many dorms. Dorms are the garbage transfer issue for the EV. Many poor communities complained that they were targeted for garbage transfer stations because of the refusal of wealthy areas to accept their share of the problem. They feared that real estate values would drop along with their quality of life. Well, the same is true of dorms. We have more dorms than any other community in the city. The EV has become a college campus in the worst possible way. And what do we get for all these dorms? Nothing... absolutely nothing. IT HAS TO STOP.

Anonymous said...

'And what do we get......' Perfect expression of the attitude people have. What do we get? What are you supposed to 'get'? Please tell us. What exactly are you entitled to now? Upset because your lifetime of subsidized, stabilized housing is being disturbed by a dorm? No problem. Perhaps these buildings can be used as permanent housing for shelter residents or as shelters for the emotionally disturbed homeless you pretend to care so much about. Oh you don't like that do you? What should you get and why do you deserve to get anything?

Anonymous said...

Let me interpret this: The get nothing is the weekend trash we need to wade through EVERY freakin weekend. And a dorm will only clog up the pipline (i.e. the sidewalks) even more with spill over, fast food places, and more trash.

And we get nothing. Neither a break in rent nor a decent restaurant.

So anonymous 2:04, what "attitude" are you talking about???

Anonymous said...

"What are you supposed to 'get'?"

We are supposed to get some type of community use facility. While I support the arts, this would not be accessible to the entire community and should not qualify. With all the hospital closings I don't see why they wouldn't try to make it into a hospital or a facility with social services etc.

At least I'm not the only one who has problems trying to get an answer from a city agency. You would think that a City Council member you have a direct line to someone at the agency,

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Rosie stick her hand in her own pocket, buy whatever piece of real estate she's interested in and decide what to do with it on her own.

If you think creating a dormitory to bring young up and coming art professions to the neighborhood isn't community use than tell me what is?

Do we need more public housing for illegal drug dealing? You want to do something reasonable with public housing then you might as well work to legalize drug dealing and gambling Rosie because in case you haven't been observant in your own neighborhood that's what's going on.

Stop with the BULLSHIT and work to get something meaningful and reasonable done for the neighborhood rather than trying to stick a feather in your cap.

Edmund Dunn said...

"Upset because your lifetime of subsidized, stabilized housing is being disturbed by a dorm? "

Excuse me but who subsidizes you? 421-a? The mortgage interest tax deduction? Or your parents?

Anonymous said...

Actually as 45 year old employed taxpaying homeowner I subsidize people like you. See I learned to work and be self reliant from my Irish immigrant parents. So please do two things. Say thank you and STFU.

Anonymous said...

The proliferation (and continuation of) dorms/dorm space in the EV has negatively impacted the community in so many ways. A significant and unique urban neighborhood has been transformed into a "playground" for students and recent graduates who, in essence, just want to party. But once a neighborhood is destroyed, it is permanent.

And it is horrible to see long-time residents and shops forced out because of the luxury real estate tsunami of people who love the EV because of "great bars" and "so easy to order food delivery" and "cheap manicures."(Yes this is what they actually say!)

It is also important to note that these dorms are not part of any campus and so the schools - whether NYU, Marymount, Pace (further downtown) etc - take no responsibility for oversight or monitoring."Out of sight, out of mind"

At urban schools such as Boston University or GW, the schools have a "grid campus" with buildings in proximity. And those schools - at least in comparison to NYU - seem to try to take some sort of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

> August 3, 2015 at 4:42 PM

Pics or it didn't happen. It's easy to talk trash in a blog thread. It's amusing when the landed gentry flaunt their privilege. Nobody "subsidized" me either but I'm not an entitled jerk about it. It may shock you but not all poor people who aren't white deal drugs.

For what it's worth I don't care about the dorm one way or another and I live pretty close.

Anonymous said...

Singer knows his dorm contracts, tenuous at best, won't last. He wants to get it built and then say "whoops no dorms after all" and go market rate condo and rental. It's a shame he got the building so cheap but that's been flame warred on this blog already.

Just for the sake of argument - that is what threads are for right? - what would a community center look like if there was a reasonable amount of cash to do the renovation. Not that it's going to happen but what do people think should go there? It's a lot of space.

Edmund Dunn said...


Guess what Sherlock, as a renter here in the EV, I was/am subsidizing* you. Nobody subsidizes me. And I’ll put my Irish/Sicilian working class taxpayer history cred against yours any day of the week so you can go fuck off. Have some cojones and put your real name on your post. BTW, do you even live here?

*Mortgage interest tax deduction.

Anonymous said...

Here's the issue with so many dorms - they destroy a neighborhood b/c the people who live in dorms are by definition TRANSIENTS with no roots or continuity in the neighborhood. A real neighborhood requires people to live there long enough to care, to get involved, to try to make things better.

Further, once graduated, these students want to continue living "the dorm life" - usually in a shared apartment (which is often bankrolled by mom & dad). Again, most of these people generally stay only for a couple of years, so they have no real interest or investment in the neighborhood; they care about being in "party land" every weekend.

By my reckoning, within a 2-block radius of the corner of 3rd Ave. at 12th St., there are dorms housing approximately 5,000 students who descend upon the area to live in dorms in late August every year; most of them leave in late May - to be replaced by a NEW batch of kids the following late August.

Anyone who thinks that flooding an area with 5,000 new people 10 months every year doesn't destabilize a neighborhood, is crazy. These dorm residents are the reason we have bars next to bars next to bars and across the street from more bars. It's not about education - it's about "having the New York experience" - or what a college kid THINKS is a New York experience.

The dorm residents just swamp the neighborhood every.damn.year. with their presence and especially with their entitlement.

Anonymous said...

re: anon 3:45 "If you think creating a dormitory to bring young up and coming art professions to the neighborhood isn't community use than tell me what is?"

Something that is accessible by the community such as a Boys or Girls Club, community center etc. A dorm for students, even if they are dancers, benefits solely them not the community at large.

Anonymous said...

"He wants to get it built and then say 'whoops no dorms after all' "

Yup, I'd say that's the plan.

Anonymous said...

Yup. As it is - joffrey has right of first refusal to these beds for students. And if they don't use them up - the beds revert back to the landlord so he can rent to whoever outside of Joffrey. The dance and art programs seem nice but Joffrey is just a tool to get this monster moving.

Jill said...

The reason so many students in one neighborhood is destructive is because they are temporary residents and have no interest in the long term benefit of investing in a community. They treat the neighborhood the way I do a car rental, at the end it's pretty trashed (oops) and I don't care at all about fixing it, as I'm on to the next. A vital neighborhood needs enough long standing residents who care enough to advocate for services that benefit the residents, and come together to support each other. Without those people we wouldn't have parks, gardens, libraries, etc for the people who live there. It would be Times Square, just for tourists passing through.

So to the 45-year old homeowner, if you do actually live here, then you would care about these things because they keep your property values high.