Monday, June 27, 2016

Report: Gregg Singer secures $44 million loan to continue plan to convert former PS 64 into a dorm

Last time that we heard anything about the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center, the owner, developer Gregg Singer, was being sued by his investors.

The Real Deal in late December reported:

The asset manager said it and the other investors put almost $8 million worth of debt and equity into the project, and after paying off the defaulted mortgage the development partnership took out a $22 million bridge loan at 11 percent interest, guaranteed by Onyx.

Despite earlier reports that Singer had signed the West Village’s Ballet School as a tenant, however, progress at the site struggled, and in July the company defaulted on the loan, kicking the interest rate up to 16 percent.

Singer apparently remains committed to converting the long-empty building that extends from Ninth Street to 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C into dorms.

The Commercial Observer reported last week that "Madison Realty Capital has provided a $44 million loan to Gregg Singer’s Singer Financial Corporation to recapitalize a student housing development."

Here's more:
“There is a shortage of quality student housing options in Manhattan,” Joshua Zegen, a managing principal and a co-founder of MRC, said in prepared remarks provided to COF. “Our financing of this project will help the borrower tap into that demand and turn a vacant building into a thriving housing option for students residing in New York City. This new development will provide a brand new student living facility with contemporary amenities, right in the heart of the East Village, one of the most artistic and diverse communities in the city.”

The article notes the new dorm will house 535 students, and include outdoor spaces for them.

It's like 2013 all over again. Or maybe 2009.

More than three years ago there were reports that both Cooper Union and the Joffrey Ballet were leasing space here for students.

It is not known — publicly anyway — if Singer has any signed leases for the space, which still needs approval from the city to renovate. (A Stop Work Order remains on the property, dated from last August.) Singer did not comment in the Observer story.

Singer bought the formerly city-owned building on East 9th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C in 1998 for $3.15 million. There has been a movement to return the building 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

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


Anonymous said...

I doubt the city would ever "return the building to use as a cultural and community center" since a neighborhood filled with a transient NYU student population and bankers in training care about community or culture. I would agree to let Singer covert the building but will demands such as: preserving the buildings Beaux Arts architecture, restoring the dormer he demolished to avoid the possibility of landmarking this building. Sign an agreement that the building can never be sold unless it continues as a dormitory since he claims how there is such a demand in our city for that type of housing. This agreement must be iron clad, made public and never become another Rivington House sham.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, doe we really need 535 more coddled students in our neighborhood? The post-baccalaureates are worse enough.

Scuba Diva said...

I still don't see how a college dorm—whose population is composed of transient residents—can be considered a "community facility."

blue glass said...

500 plus more students with a drinking problem? ok, let's make all the commercial spaces bars and fast food outlets and maybe they'll stay close to "home".
they wouldn't have to walk far to get to a place with alcohol, and to eat after their binges.
and they won't have to drunkenly drive home,

Anonymous said...

There goes the neighborhood, again!

Anonymous said...

@Scuba Diva: I don't understand it either, but dorms are considered "community facilities" - which is particularly perverse given the effect that NYU's dorms have had on the East Village.

Certainly we're not welcome to set foot in an NYU dorm. When I went into the lobby of Third North to notify them of a problem on their turf, the guard acted like I was an undesirable intruder. And when one NYU dorm was temporarily our polling place one election year, we had to use the janitor's entrance, and they had security posted there as if we, the long-term residents of the neighborhood, might be there to steal the building.

IMO there's nothing "community" about dorms, other than the size bonus NYU gets because "community facilities" are permitted to be built bigger than any other structure (hotel, apartment building) would be allowed to do in the same space.

good2go said...

No no no...y'all are missing the point. The dorm BS is a ruse.

Singer wants to make the building with high-end dorm "rooms" that can easily be converted into apartments. In a few years he claims a financial hardship that he can't break even, get the zoning switched to residential, converts the building into a condo (which he sponsors), and makes big bucks on the sales.

It's all a bait-and-switch. That's what it's been all along.

Anonymous said...

@blue glass
Taking away housing to keep drunk students is impossible the only way to keep students from getting drunk is to take away their drinking spots. Show up at community board meetings, fight against new liquor licenses and fight against renewal if those licenses the same way, show and be heard, get your neighbors to sign a petition, document rowdy bars with videos, photographs and testify. It is not the sober students destroying our quality of life its the bars. We got ride of crack and heroin now we need to get rid of sports bars and bars that host events like Santa Con.

Anonymous said...

NYU is so corrupt. It also has fallen in reputation as a quality college. Hahahaha! Hate college students. They bring nothing to our community except noise and pools of vomit.

Henri Cervantes said...

bring it on! 99 floors and nobody home!

cmarrtyy said...

It is not a good solution for the EV to have another Dorm. This is our version of trash hauling sites. We have enough in our community. Some other community has to share the burden of this kind of trash!

Anonymous said...

a dorm for a nonprofit educational facility with long-term lease is legally considered a community facility. NYU has nothing to do with this dorm. It is Cooper Union and Joffrey Ballet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will not be some huge upheaval or anything, but yikes. The thought of 500+ new spots for incoming pizza-faces is something out of a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

We need to get our community center back! What once was a thriving center of community resilience and artistic creativity, this building has been sitting vacant for too long while controled by Singer. It was former mayor Guiliani's war on community organizations that caused this building to fall into the hands of a greedy investor who thought he could turn a quick buck by getting regulations on this building removed or not enforced by his cronies in gov. The long period of sitting empty is an abject violation of the purchase contract, hence that contract should have already been voided. Citizens of the East Village, artists and educators have been deprived of their access for too long. Stop this injustice! City action now!

Anonymous said...

@2:14pm: Oh it will be a huge upheaval, trust me. I live down the block from Third North: 900+ freshmen in 1 building. Every September another 900+ newbies, all eager to "live large" as soon as mommy & daddy's car pulls away from the curb. If the parents had any CLUE they'd keep these kids way closer to home where they could continue to helicopter-parent them.

How is it that PARENTS don't notice that this area is nearly wall-to-wall bars? Is it ordinary stupidity, or do they deliberately not observe the area while they're here?

Anyway, back to Singer: My bet is that that building will be in litigation hell until Singer dies, then his estate will settle. I long ago concluded that Singer is nuttier than an almond cake.

Anonymous said...

5:13 PM: What was in the purchase contract and where have you seen it?

Scuba Diva said...

I don't know if anyone else notices, but I see the building from my room and you can see clear through it because central walls have been removed. (I'm on the 6th floor and look down on it.) They may not be structural, weight-bearing walls, but I was in that building when it was CHARAS; they've removed a lot of substantial structure regardless.

I wouldn't be surprised if Singer's intention all along was to flip the building into luxury lofts; he was probably told from the start that it would be no problem to change the deed once he won [read: was given] the building at auction.

Such a bait-and-switch would make any normal person crazy, never mind Singer.

Anonymous said...

Going on 20 years as an eyesore and reverse ageists are still complaining about young people. Get a grip.

Jared said...

500+ students means that Tompkins Square Park, already crowded, will become a publicly funded college green.
Avenues A and B and C will see more generic chain stores. Bonehead bars with yammering drunk millenials will proliferate.

M8 ridership will increase, so maybe that means that weekend service won't be cut again, but the M14 on Ave C is beyond capacity.

J said...

There goes Tompkins Square Park... ugh.

Anonymous said...

Years back there was a guy called Voodie who would steal the kicks and throw them over the telephone wires this scared off a lot of newbies wonder if he is still around