Monday, October 14, 2019

A lawsuit dismissal and 2-year anniversary at the former P.S. 64

Over the weekend, several community activists noted the two-year anniversary of Mayor de Blasio's pledge to return help the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C to the community.

During a town hall forum at P.S. 188 on Oct. 12, 2017, de Blasio said that the Giuliani administration should not have auctioned off the property, and that he would work to "right the wrongs of the past," as DNAifno reported at the time.

"For the administration to put that building into private hands failed miserably, and we’ve seen the negative affect that that has had on the community. So I'm announcing tonight the city's interest in re-acquiring that building," de Blasio said, eliciting cheers from the audience.

The mayor brought up P.S. 64 again in the late summer of 2018 during a media roundtable at Brooklyn Borough Hall. There, de Blasio said that property owner Gregg Singer "has been exceedingly uncooperative" about selling the building back to the city, as The Villager reported. However, Singer told Patch that he hadn't heard from anyone at the mayor's office about the property.

Back on Feb. 7, local elected officials gathered outside the building and urged the city to reclaim the property for community use. The building was also the focus of a recent town hall hosted by Community Board 3's Arts & Cultural Affairs Subcommittee.

Singer has wanted to turn the building into a dorm called University Square. The DOB continues to maintain a Stop Work Order — dating to August 2015 — on the building.

To date, Singer has filed two lawsuits against the city, claiming that the de Blasio administration is derailing his dorm-converting efforts.

According to the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC), the first lawsuit, brought against the city in early 2018, was dismissed on Sept. 30.

Per an email from the EVCC:

As respects the federal constitutional and statutory claims, the court agreed with the defendants' position in a thorough 48-page opinion, which closely analyzes — and rejects — each of Mr. Singer's allegations of federal constitutional and statutory violations.

While this is as complete a victory as could be expected, it is our understanding that Mr. Singer's team has filed an appeal, which the defendants will oppose.


noble neolani said...

Do nothing for us De Blasio is probably waiting for this building to collapse so he can re-sell it to one of his developer buddies. Singer and the mayor are both playing the same game and we the citizens will be the losers.

Anonymous said...

D'ASSIO just about as SCUMMY as our President.

james said...

There are a number of avenues for the city to reclaim this property but it fails to act. The building needs to be returned as a public school for the neighborhood as the number of families is increasing in East Village. When you have low voter turn out in general elections, a demographic of one party registration dominating then you get people like the current Mayor long on speeches but short on delivering on pot hole local issues.

cmarrtyy said...

As much as things change... they stay the same. Oh, the players may change... as in the case of PS 64 but this is about good old racial politics. It's in the interests of Ruin-the EV-Rivera and Death-of-the-City-de Blasio to keep teasing the latino community about the return of Charas at PS 64 for political reasons. But the reality is... PS 64 is a big boondoggle. A waste of taxpayer money at this point. Singer could easily get 40 million for the building. Then it would take 10s of millions of dollars to renovate. And for what? A community group? It will never happen. Charas is worth more politically to de Blasio and Rivera in its current state that a purchase/renovation that could justify.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust DiBlasio to be able to do anything more involved than watering a plant. He's worse than useless.

But, this entire venture is a bad precept. The city has to be able to do business with the private sector. It can't make a business deal one day, and then when there is a change of administration try and use its weight to undo it the next. If a bargain is made--even if it is a bad one--you've got to stick to it.

Gojira said...

"If a bargain is made--even if it is a bad one--you've got to stick to it." - Well, no, Gregg Singer bid on and bought the building KNOWING that it had to be rehabbed and used for community purposes, so he snowed the system, and has been fighting to violate the terms of the legally binding agreement he signed on to since Day One. That is not a "bad bargain", that is deception and fraud. Bit of a difference.

Anonymous said...

@james -

While I'm all for taking the building back, District 1 has too few public school students, not too many. Two middle schools were merged a while back. Come up with some other public use.

Until then maybe Singer can charge the dope fiends who have set up a camp and are shooting up in plain sight. For those who complain that the neighborhood has lost its 70s and 80s charm: It's an LES theme park! "Please don't feed the junkies"

@12:31 The problem is Singer bought the building with stipulations in the deal and the city bent over backwards for him initially but he wanted to completely ignore the terms of sale. He's been operating in bad faith all these years. He broke the business arrangement because he assumed he could when he bought it.

james said...

Since it was originally a school I stand by my comment it should return to being a school. By the time it is renovated and reopened the student population will grow. And this does not preclude the School from becoming a G&T. or another Stuyvesant H.S. in Manhattan after all the original Stuyvesant was close by. It is difficult especially in Manhattan to acquire lot size necessary for a school this is a opportunity not to be missed.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor will not do anything since the council member is doing nothing just all lip service and talk so far on this issue (and others, East River Park, Jails, etc)

Scuba Diva said...

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous said: The Mayor will not do anything since the council member is doing nothing just all lip service and talk so far on this issue (and others, East River Park, Jails, etc)

This brings up a good point; how can we light a fire under Carlina's a$$?