Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Final date set for Clayworks Pottery on 9th Street

Last month, Helaine Sorgen announced that she was closing Clayworks Pottery after 44 years at 332 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

"My building has been bought by a predatory landlord who will not renew my lease," she said at the time. "It's been over a two-year fight, and the time has come to close up shop." (You can read her closing letter here.)

At the time, she was unsure of her closing date — some time around Sept. 15.

Sorgen provided an update on Facebook this past weekend:

"I am sad to report that my court ordered last day at Clayworks will be September 30th. However, the exorbitant amount of money judgment levied against me doesn't quite make up for the extra week. Still, it gives me the opportunity to see many of you again and share memories and say goodbye. I look forward to seeing you all before Clayworks closes forever."

Jeremiah Moss interview Sorgen for a post that you can find here.

Storefront photo from 2009 via Facebook

7th Street townhouse once owned by John Leguizamo to be demolished for new development

In September 2016, a permit was filed with the DOB to demolish the 3-level townhouse (circa 1848) at 264. E. Seventh St. between Avenue C and Avenue D.

In late October, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced that they would not consider a row pastel-colored residences here for landmarking.

While the fate of No. 264 (above) remains in limbo at the moment, its neighbor two buildings to the east will be demolished to make way for a new development.

As New York Yimby first reported yesterday, the city approved a demo permit last month for the three-level 268 E. Seventh St. ...

[268 E, 7th St.]

The permits (filed on Friday) awaiting approval show that the new 7-floor structure will have 8,043 square feet of residential space divided between two units.

Actor John Leguizamo owned No. 268 starting in 1995. In February 2013, the building hit the market with a $4 million ask. However, as Curbed noted at the time:

It's unclear how recently Leguizamo lived in the place, or whether or not he even still owns it — the deed was transferred to an LLC in 2002, and the listing says that it was "Recently a single family residence; currently used as a 3-family" ...

Leguizamo watchers on the block figure that the actor moved away from here about 2001 or 2002.

According to public records, No. 268 sold for $3.65 million in September 2013 to investment banker Wilco Faessen, who's listed as the developer.

There isn't any word on when the demolition/construction might start at No. 268.

Across the way, work continues at 253 E. Seventh St., where there are approved permits for a 6-story residential building ...

Previously on EV Grieve:
City says no to landmarking row of 7th Street homes, clearing way for demolition of No. 264

Come live in John Leguizamo's former home here on 'Artists Row'

The East River Park Track is now closed for renovations; September 2018 reopening expected

A longtime East Village resident said that he was "shocked and vexed" yesterday to discover that the East River Park Track at the FDR and Sixth Street was closed without any warning "until further notice" for reconstruction.

This project has been in the works since 2013. Per the Parks Department website, "this project will reconstruct the synthetic turf soccer field and resurface the running track."

The fine print notes that the construction will start this month, and take one year to compete. There wasn't any advance communications about this seemingly sudden closure.

The note the Parks Department left on the gate lacks many specifics, such as the reopening date...

Per the reader, who's training for the New York City Marathon: "Seems like a disservice to the schools, clubs and individuals who use the track in the prime months of September and October."

Sentencing day for landlord Steve Croman

[Image via the Croman Tenants' Alliance]

Back on June 6, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the guilty plea of Steve Croman. The landlord will be sentenced this morning by Justice Jill Konviser as part of that plea deal.

Here's the original statement about the plea from the Attorney General's office...

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Steven Croman, a major New York City landlord with more than 140 apartment buildings across Manhattan, for fraudulently refinancing loans and committing tax fraud. Under the terms of his plea, Croman would serve one year of jail time on Rikers Island and pay a $5 million tax settlement – marking a significant precedent in the effort to combat landlords who base their business model on the displacement of rent-stabilized tenants.

Rarely, if ever, has a landlord been sentenced to serve time in jail for engaging in these practices. The jail time and multi-million settlement announced today send a strong message to landlords that the Attorney General will pursue anyone who engages in these types of practices to the fullest extent of the law.

“Steven Croman is a fraudster and a criminal who engaged in a deliberate and illegal scheme to fraudulently obtain bank loans,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “He went to outrageous lengths to boost his bottom line – including falsely listing rent-stabilized units at market rates when his efforts to displace those renters had failed. Now Mr. Croman faces a year in Rikers and a $5 million settlement – and unscrupulous landlords are on notice that we’ll pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The AG's office still has a pending civil case against Croman accusing him of forcing tenants from their rent-controlled apartments. His next court date for the civil case is now scheduled for Nov. 13.

Schneiderman first announced the charges against Croman in May 2016. Those charges included multiple felonies for his role in an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain several multi-million dollar refinancing loans between 2012 and 2014.

The civil lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan and the product of an independent investigation, alleges that Croman used, among other things, the illegal tactic of pressuring tenants into surrendering their apartments by repeatedly filing baseless lawsuits against them.

Croman's real-estate portfolio includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.

Members of the the Stop Croman Coalition will be present at the sentencing, set for 9 a.m. at the New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre St., Room 1333 (13th Floor).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Following eviction proceedings, Steve Croman's 9300 Realty has a new office

Drumming up some dumpster action outside Webster Hall

There still aren't any permits on file with the city to renovate the landmarked Webster Hall on 11th Street... however, over the weekend, several readers spotted a dumpster out front here between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue ... whose contents included part of a drum kit...

Anyway. A quickie recap. The venue in its most current iteration closed on Aug. 10. (You can find a Webster Hall timeline here.) Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, along with AEG-backed The Bowery Presents, bought the building from the Ballinger family for $35 million this past spring.

The new owners will renovate the space, axing the club nights to focus on live music. Some reports suggest that the new venue won't be ready until 2020.

H/T EVG reader Doug!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The 9th Precinct Community Council meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday!) night

As a reminder, the 9th Precinct Community Council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. So that would be tomorrow (Sept. 19).

The meetings take place at the 9th Precinct, 321 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

This is an opportunity for residents to address any concerns and ask 9th Precinct officials for their input on recent crime statistics.

First Hints

First Hints

Are we too, to be blown into Fall?
This quiet transformation from a summer,
Of heat and relief patented across,
Weeks in succession.

New mornings taking longer to appear,
Almost tranquil, limpid of light,
As the grip of summer,
Teasing in its reluctance, relinquishes its might.

Great winds surge across the South.
As we sit in park’s dappled light,
Children play, shrill their voices, below
The leaves above that soon will fall.

peter radley

A look at tonight's CB3 agenda, which includes the return of The Honey Fitz

CB3's SLA committee meets tonight at the Public Hotel,17th Floor, Sophia Room, 215 Chrystie St. between Houston and Stanton. The festivities start at 6:30.

Here's a look at a few of the applicants on the agenda:


• 20 St Mark's Place — Applicants from Ichibantei, the 7-year-old "Japanese Soul Food & Drink" bar-restaurant on 13th Street near First Avenue, are looking to open a similar-sounding concept at 20 St. Mark's Place.

This space is above the Grassroots on the block between Second Avenue and Third Avenue that previously housed Sounds.

According to the application (PDF) at the CB3 website, this unnamed restaurant would seat 64 during their daily hours of 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The paperwork doesn't note if this would be a second location of Ichibantei or if they plan to move the business.

The fact that an applicant is looking to sell liquor in a space that wasn't previously licensed in a so-called Saturated Area has raised the ire of a few people on the block. While not named in the story, this application was the news hook in a St. Mark's Place Is Full-of-Bars piece in the Post yesterday.

Per the Post:

A proposal for yet another bar and restaurant at 20 St. Marks Place shows there are an astonishing 32 liquor licenses within 500 feet. And that’s before you count two more pending applications for watering holes, State Liquor Authority records show.


“Stacking bars on top of bars is not a happy thought for me,” said Ian Fair who ran Sounds for many years and still lives in the building. He closed the shop in 2015 after the landlord tripled the rent.


• 58 E. First St. — Applicants with experience at Casa Mizcal on Orchard Street and the Black Ant on Second Avenue are looking to open a restaurant called Boticarios in the space where Esperanto Fonda lasted nine months.

The application at the CB3 website (PDF) includes a sample menu.

While they haven't yet secured the liquor license, the owners have left a note for the neighboring residents about some renovations in the restaurant...


• 210 Avenue A — Applicants for The Honey Fitz are making another run at Avenue A. The proprietors, James Morrissey and Ian Nolan (The Late Late on East Houston and The VNYL on Third Avenue), were looking to open in 2016 in the space that is now home to Starbucks on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place. However, they held off given the uncertainty at the time surrounding the lease at Nino's.

They are proposing a bar-restaurant with hours of 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily. (I don't know if the networking space for freelancers is part of this proposal as it was for the St. Mark's Place space.)

The application (PDF) has all sorts of details about the proposed venture, including the menu. No. 210 at 13th Street is currently home to Percy's Tavern, who presumably would close if all this is OK'd.


• 151 Avenue C — Studio 151, the three-year-old club from the owner of Nublu, is on the agenda for a new liquor license for the upstairs space here between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

I'm not sure what's going on with the space, which has been closed the past six months, per Studio 151's social media.
(You can find their CB3 application here.)

Neighbors have already been circulating flyers about this item...

[Photo by Steven]

The flyers cite Studio 151's "thirty year history of noise." To be fair, Studio 151 opened in July 2014. Speakeasy closed here in the spring of 2014.

Openings: Broken Coconut, Ladybird, the Lost Lady, the Hairy Lemon

[Healthy Coconut photo from Sept. 8]

Broken Coconut, the health-conscious restaurant from Butter/1Oak founder Scott Sartiano, opens today at 15 E. Fourth St. between Lafayette and Broadway, according to the Post.

The Post notes the menu will include a probiotic, protein-rich yogurt with a coconut base.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Checking in on the former Other Music space, soon to be a health-focused restaurant


Ravi DeRossi's vegan bar-restaurant opened at 111 Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue on Sept. 5. Eater has more about the space, which counts musician/animal-rights activist Moby as an investor.

Find the Ladybird website here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Ravi DeRossi moving Ladybird to the East Village; taking residence at former Bourgeois Pig space


The Lost Lady, from Robert Ceraso and Jason Mendenhall, the co-owners of The Wayland and Good Night Sonny, opened last Wednesday at 171 Avenue C between 10th Street and 11th Street. This marks their third attempt at opening another bar along Avenue C. Plans for both the former Duke's space and current Royale fell through.

The space was originally going to go by The Drift Inn.

"Somebody opened a bar called the Drift Inn in Brooklyn a couple of months after we started working on that space," Ceraso told me earlier this summer. "It actually makes more sense for the space now. Once we got in there and started getting a feel for the bones of the space, our design went a lot more old nautical feeling. The Lost Lady feels to us like it could be the name of an old ship or a story that a fisherman would tell you."

Grub Street has a preview of the Lost Lady here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Evelyn Drinkery has closed on Avenue C

Wayland team opening Drift Inn at former Evelyn Drinkery space on Avenue C


[Image via Facebook]

The Hairy Lemon opened last Wednesday in the former Croxley Ales space, 28 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street. The place serves traditional Irish pub fare and sports 20 TVs.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Croxley Ales-replacing bar on Avenue B is called the Hairy Lemon

The rent is due at the former DF Mavens

DF Mavens, the vegan ice cream shop and cafe on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place, closed in January 2016.

Apparently the owners are still are the books for the rent, which is past due, according to the notice "Demanding Payment of Rent" taped to the front door early last week...

The total due is $53,660.27, which includes the nearly $25k monthly rent for both August and September.

The document shows that the lease goes back to August 2013 — roughly 16 months before DF Mavens opened their first retail space here on Dec. 26, 2014.

To date, I have not seen any for rent signs for this space. Guess that there isn't any rush to lease the prime storefront as long as the former tenant is still paying rent.

Intermix has left the Bowery

Intermix, the multi-brand fashion retailer, packed up and left its Bowery storefront late last week.

The space between Bond and Great Jones had been on the market since last October. No word on either why Intermix left or who the next tenant might be.

Intermix is the latest business to leave this Bowery corridor, joining Environment Furniture, Tatyana Boutique, Patricia Field and DBGB, among others.

Also on this block, the former Subway (sandwich shop) at No. 342 was pegged for Poke Run, a restaurant operated by former Olympic athlete-turned-chef Michael Stember.

Apparently that isn't happening, at least not here, as the space is now for rent...

Intermix opened on the Bowery in May 2013.

The previous tenant was Steve's on the Bowery.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Steve's on the Bowery has closed, more 'glam fashionistas' on the way

Steve's on the Bowery is for lease

Pricing revealed at these 2 condoplexs

[Photo from Saturday]

Over at 32 E. First St. at Second Avenue ... Curbed has details on the 10-story, 33-unit condoplex (with ground-floor retail): "Prices here start at $1.175 million and climb as high as $8.7 million. Six of the condos are already in contract while another six, including a three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse are currently listed on the market."

This was the former BP station site, which closed in July 2014.


And on 10th Street and Fourth Avenue... three of the 12 units here at the 10-floor condoplex arrived on the market last week.

[Photo from Saturday]

Per Curbed: "The development, called Eighty East Tenth, is designed by NAVA Companies and will offer a mix of one- through five-bedrooms, priced from $1.85 million. There’ll be no more than two apartments on each floor and range from around 925 square feet to over 5,000 square feet."

And here is the latest rendering...

Smoke Shop & Convenience Inc. slated for 14th Street

The coming-soon signage is up at 246 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue ... announcing the ever-popular shops that sell smoking supplies, sodas, beers, etc.

I believe the previous tenant here was a discount place called Gift Mart. (Anyone?)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Photo Friday in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Jimmy Webb will make dreams come true with new rock 'n' roll boutique I Need More (Friday)

[Video] Nighttime along Avenue A on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, 2001 (Monday)

Primary victory for Carlina Rivera in District 2 City Council race (Wednesday)

Ramones Ramp mural damaged in Queens (Tuesday)

The fake Christmas trees are now on display at the Astor Place Kmart (Wednesday)

Bali Kitchen now open on 4th Street (Tuesday)

A letter for new NYU students: 'think good thoughts about yourself and others' (Thursday)

Amid claims of being a rent-stablilized tenant, Raphael Toledano faces eviction from his home (Friday)

[At the Hurricane Harvey bake sale Wednesday at East Village Social via Derek Berg]

Mr. Bing will sell traditional Northern Chinese street crepes on St. Mark's Place (Wednesday)

The latest installment of I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant (Thursday)

So long Cher, the willow tree of La Plaza Cultural (Friday)

About Bodega, a start-up that aspires to be the new neighborhood market (Wednesday)

3rd Street development site on the market for $12 million (Monday)

48 Clinton St. for sale as development site (Tuesday)

The Urban Vision of Elaine Norman, an exhibit opening at City Lore on 1st Street (Wednesday)

Ummburger makes it official on 1st Avenue (Tuesday)

NYC's first Nutella Cafe coming to University and 13th Street (Thursday)

Post office-replacing residential building with a Trader Joe's nearing the top on 14th Street (Monday)

Dueling notes at the Miracle Garden on 3rd Street (Tuesday)

Schmaltz on full display in new-look exterior at Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse (Wednesday)

... and there's new art as of this past week outside the Second Avenue F stop... this work is by @magdaloveart and @sonni ...

... and on the four-year anniversary of his death last Thursday, AllSoulzNYC ("an interactive encounter with loss, witness & community on the streets of the city") placed this photo of the memorial for LES Jewels at the Ninth Street entrance to Tompkins Square Park...


Follow EVG on Instragram and/or Twitter for more updates

At the 9th Street Block Party

[Photo by Steven]

The annual block party on Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue took place yesterday ... here are a few photos from the day via Derek Berg...

The people I talked with who attended the Block Party really enjoyed the festivities, which featured a good mix of businesses on the block, such as Love Gang, Enchantments, Tacos Morales, Superiority Burger and Confectionery (pictured below) ...

[Photo by Steven]

... outside vendors such as Ford Vintage ...

[Photo via @fordvintage]

... and residents selling their stuff on the stoops or street...

[Photo by Grant Shaffer]