There are recently disclosed new developments in the works at the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center as developer Gregg Singer remains committed to converting the long-empty building that extends from Ninth Street to 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C into dorms. (Singer bought the formerly city-owned building in 1998 for $3.15 million.)
According to the Greenwich Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP):
[Singer] is seeking to get around the restrictive declaration and the tighter rules we helped fight for years ago and sneak in illegitimate uses. He has hired the same lobbyist involved in the scandalous lifting of the deed restriction for the nearby Rivington House.
Rather than get the City to lift the deed restriction as was done there, he is seeking to get the City to redefine the restrictions on dorms that apply to this and other sites, to make it easier to sneak in illegal “dorms for hire” and to do work on the building without required documentation and commitments in place. The City has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the developer’s request, which has far-reaching implications not only for this property but others throughout the City.
Last June, The Commercial Observer reported that Madison Realty Capital provided a $44 million loan to Singer’s Singer Financial Corporation to recapitalize a dorm.
In past years, the Joffrey Ballet and Cooper Union were attached to the project.
Now, as The Villager reported on Dec. 26, the new "anchor tenant" is Adelphi University, which has an outpost at 75 Varick St. Singer reportedly signed a lease with the school this past August.
The Schedule A on file with the DOB shows that the Adelphi students would be on the second and third floors of the building... while the fourth and fifth would remain unoccupied for the time being...
The lobbyist in question is Jim Capalino, a former Mayor de Blasio ally. As Politico noted, Capalino and his staffers have a knack for getting what they want for their clients.
Capalino has been working on behalf of Singer's LLC since April 2014. Here's more from The Villager:
Records from the Lobbying Bureau of the Office of the City Clerk show that from January 2015 to December 2016, 9th & 10th L.L.C. made three payments to James F. Capalino and Associates for a total of roughly $227,000. The first payment was for $30,000, with the “target” being the Department of Buildings, and the purpose being for “determination regarding real property.” The second was for $86,666, with the targets listed as D.O.B., along with “councilmembers and community boards,” with the intended purpose stated as “aiding the client in seeking various approvals for its property.” The third payment was for $120,000, with the target again D.O.B. and the purpose only listed as “non-procurement.”
The landmarked building has sat empty since 2001, when Singer reportedly evicted CHARAS, the cultural and community center. Through the years, preservationists, community groups and local elected officials have been successful in opposing Singer's various plans, including a 23-story megadorm. At the same time, there has been a movement to return the building to use as a cultural and community center.
There's a community meeting on Jan. 18 to discuss the latest developments at the former PS 64 ...
The meeting is 6:30 p.m. on the 18th at Loisaida, Inc., 710 E. Ninth St. near Avenue C (next to Ninth Street Espresso if that helps).
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
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
Development drama continues at the former P.S. 64, where the city approved dorm-conversion permits (again)
[Updated] The former P.S. 64 appears to be for sale
The latest PS 64 debacle: Investors sue Gregg Singer