The Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) will be selling its Harriman Clubhouse building on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Avenue A, according to a recent letter to alumni from Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO.
An EVG reader, and an alum of the Boys' Club, shared a copy of the letter, which states that the building, which opened in 1901, will remain in operation through June 2019.
According to the letter, BCNY will look to rent space somewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. The letter also states that the sale of the East Village building will allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in other communities, including Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx.
A few excerpts from the letter:
It is with sadness that I write to tell you that the Board of Trustees of the Boys' Club of New York has decided to sell the Harriman Clubhouse building...
As you know, when E.H. Harriman founded the Boy's Club in 1876, 10th Street and Avenue A was in the middle of a poor, immigrant neighborhood where most boys had little opportunity to learn and grow and nowhere to feel safe. He opened this clubhouse to give any boy on the Lower East Side a shot at a better life.
The neighborhood surrounding the building has changed dramatically since Mr. Harriman built this building, especially in the past few decades. The sale of the property now will allow BCNY to provide programming to an even greater number of boys and young men in more underserved communities. The Board will use proceeds of the sale to start new programs in Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx. The Board has no plans to sell Gerry Clubhouse in East Harlem or Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing.
At least six new high-end luxury buildings have arrived near the BCNY outpost in recent years, including Ben Shaoul's 100 Avenue A, Extell's EVGB and Douglas Steiner's Steiner East Village.
In 2012, Steiner bought the former Mary Help of Christians property on Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street from the Archdiocese of New York for $41 million. The church and school were torn down.
No word yet what the BCNY building might fetch on the market... or what might happen to the 7-story building — complete gut renovation or full demolition to make way for a new residential complex.
[Boys' Club photo from 1934 via NYPL]
Updated 2:30 p.m.
Patch's coverage includes comments from Alice Maggin, the club's director of communication.
Today, the building is equipped with two gymnasiums, a swimming pool on the seventh floor and a rooftop space where a slew of athletic, music and art programs are offered to roughly 300 members, boys ages 7-to-21. Club officials have not begun talks with specific buyers yet, but aim to sell the space to a group with the community's needs in mind rather than a developer who would raze the structure.
"That building is built like a bomb shelter — thick walls of concrete and steel — if it were to be knocked down it would be hugely expensive," said Maggin. "It's a seven-story building with unique features, we're hoping that it could become something for the area."