The former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C is back in the news after Mayor de Blasio said that his administration would take steps to reacquire the building.
This surprise announcement came during the District 2 Town Hall last Thursday night at P.S. 188, the Island School.
De Blasio didn't expound on the topic any further that night. His spokesperson didn't offer any specifics to follow-up queries from DNAinfo.
A spokesperson for owner Gregg Singer, who bought the property from the city in 1998, said that he has no plans to sell the building. The spokesperson, who said that the city is being a bully, told DNAinfo the appraised value of the property is $60 million, and that Singer "has already poured $80 million into upkeep."
Singer, who wants to turn the landmarked property into a dorm called University Square, continues in a holding pattern while the DOB has a Stop Work Order on the building.
Here are some photos of the building from this past weekend... starting with the 10th Street side...
... and the Ninth Street side...
The wheat-paste posters are nearly 8-inches thick on the plywood...
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.
As seen on the fence at La Plaza Cultural down on Ninth and C...
The DNAinfo piece also quotes East Village resident Jorge de Yarza, who co-owns the cafe Donostia on Avenue B between Ninth Street and 10th Street. Accordonig to DNAinfo, "he helped gather roughly 900 signatures from locals living within a mile of it in support of the dorm plan, asking the city to allow it to move forward."
"We think this is a completely personal issue with a very vocal minority in my community and we have proved that the vast majority of the immediate community is in favor of this building permit going through as a dorm for Adelphi, because bottom line is it's a 100,000-square-foot eyesore that has been there forever for no reason."
According to the Lo-Down, de Yarza helped Singer support candidates running against Carlina Rivera in District 2’s City Council race last month. Rivera, who won the race, is an ally of outgoing Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who has long opposed the dorm plan.
In an interview with the Lo-Down, Singer's attorney, David Schwartz, "alluded to the possibility of a lawsuit to force the city to sign off on the dorm plan, but expressed hopes that Mendez’s successor will 'do what’s right for the community.'"
In a comment on the previous EVG post on this topic, someone wrote, "To find out the truth regarding 605 E. 9th street see: www.oldps64.com" and signed it Gregg Singer. That website has background on the building, at least from Singer's perspective.
Previously on EV Grieve:
During Town Hall, Mayor announces city's interest in re-acquiring former P.S. 64