This coming Monday (Nov. 14), a group of activists is planning a march on the Midtown offices of Madison Realty Capital to demand the return of the former P.S. 64 to the community.
The long-empty building at 605 E. Ninth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C fell into foreclosure earlier this year and is reportedly in the hands of lender Madison Realty Capital.
The five-floor building is being offered for use as medical space or educational-related purposes. Meanwhile, some residents want to see the space used as a community center, as it was during its time as CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center.
Here's more about Monday's noon-time action via the Facebook invite:
Hey Billionaires! Give Us Back Our Community Center!Recently the former P.S. 64 ... fell into foreclosure. It is now in the hands of the Madison Realty group, "a vertically integrated real estate private-equity firm that manages approximately $9.5 billion in total assets on behalf of an institutional global investor base."These are the folks that currently hold sway regarding the future of our beloved community center.We need to let them know that: We Demand that the former P.S. 64 be returned to our Lower East Side community for use by our community. Protest at Madison Realty Capital offices: 520 Madison Ave. (between 53rd and 54th Streets).
Gregg Singer bought the property from the city during an auction in 1998 for $3.15 million. He later evicted CHARAS in 2001, and the building has sat empty ever since.
There's now an updated action on Monday afternoon directed toward then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Per the invite:
At 1:30 p.m., we’ll send "A Message to You, Rudy." We'll march to protest Rudy Giuliani's underhanded sale of the property by picketing the RUDY SHOW at WABC Radio, 800 Third Ave. (between 49th and 50th Streets).
You can find the Facebook invite here.
As previously reported, ownership of the property had been in transition. In January, Supreme Court Justice Melissa Crane ruled that Madison Realty Capital could move forward with a foreclosure against Singer after years of delay.
Madison Realty Capital reportedly provided Singer with a $44 million loan on the property in 2016. Court records show that he failed to repay the balance by its maturity date in April 2016, and by that September, the lender filed to foreclose, as reported by The Real Deal.
Photo by Kenny Toglia