Tuesday, February 14, 2017
As we noted last week, City Council Member Rosie Mendez and other community leaders, organizations and residents are holding a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall today to get Mayor De Blasio's attention on the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street. The rally starts at 2 p.m. today.
As previously reported, developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, is reportedly pushing de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.
According to public records, Singer is continuing to retain high-powered lobbyist Jim Capalino, a former Mayor de Blasio ally, for the remainder of the year...
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Among Capalino's lobbying targets: the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and the Office of the First Deputy Mayor.
Capalino, according to a New York Daily News story in March 2016, steered $50,000 to de Blasio after pushing the city to lift the deed restriction at the Rivington House. (The mayor said last August that he has cut off contact with the lobbyist in the wake of multiple investigations into his administration, per Politico.)
Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told this to DNAinfo in a story published yesterday: "We want to save our community center and we don’t want another Rivington House situation where the restrictive deed on this property is undermined or circumvented and the dorm for hire plan that the developer is currently pursuing is approved and becomes the fate of the building."
It has been reported that Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, and hopes to have students move in by the fall of 2018.
Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.