Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Report: The former Charas/P.S. 64 is headed to auction this March

After another round of legal rulings, the former P.S. 64/Charas/El Bohio Community Center is headed to a foreclosure auction in March. 

According to The Real Deal, a court-appointed referee last week set an auction for the property at the Hilton New York Midtown Fifth Avenue on March 22. (As previously noted, the 135,000-square-foot building is zoned for "community facility use." Any conversion to a condoplex or residential housing would require a time-consuming zoning variance.)

Late last year, Judge Melissa Crane "agreed with a report from a court-appointed referee that Madison was owed $89.9 million for principal, interest and other charges." 

Singer disputed the interest and charges, arguing that the report lacked a "breakdown by month of the Prime and LIBOR rates, making it impossible to verify the accuracy of the calculations." 

Crane quickly shot down that argument. "The note explains the method for calculating the relevant interest rate in its first paragraph," she said. 
Singer vows to keep fighting despite the scheduled auction, citing new evidence he was "finally able to obtain," The Real Deal reported. 
"We expect our rights will be fully vindicated and we will ultimately prevail and be allowed to have the building be a benefit to the community," he said.
In recent weeks, workers — under emergency orders via the DOB — have been sealing up the building's Ninth Street and 10th Street sides between Avenue B and Avenue C. The former school and community center had been easy to access in recent years, attracting a variety of urban thrillseekers and partygoers. The broken windows and poorly secured doors also exposed the building to the elements — not to mention pigeons and other wildlife.

The property that Singer purchased from the city in 1998 for $3.15 million fell into foreclosure last year. Through the years, Singer wanted to turn the building into a dorm (more here), though those plans never materialized. (At one point, the Joffrey Ballet and Cooper Union were attached to the project.)

In October 2017, then-Mayor de Blasio's statement at a Town Hall put forth the idea that the city would take steps to reacquire the building. 

Some residents want to see the space used again as a community center, as it was during its time as Charas/El Bohio Community Center. Singer evicted the group on Dec. 27, 2001.  


Anonymous said...

how does 3.15 Million become $89.9 million for principal, interest and other charges?

if most of this is owed to Government can't City just declare eminent domain and clear the debts?

John Penley said...

If all those people who have been holding a rally , once a year , for the last 20 years squatted the building like Chino and Armando did in the first place the community could probably keep it.

Anonymous said...

Money is not owed to the city

Guy bought it for 3.15M.
EV Real estate prices increased over the years.
Guy could not do anything constructive with the property because of the politicians, was able to get a loan of tens of millions secured by the property.
Guy let the property fall into foreclosure and now the bank is selling it.

If the politicians wanted to eminent domain this building they would have to pay market price

Anonymous said...

The speculators who want to turn $3.15M into $89.9M ought to be fined $315M for violating the deed provision for community use over 20+ years. This goes then a long way toward reappropriation via eminent domain, substantive repairs, and program budgets. Charas/ElBohio back to the people!! NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

“Madison was owed $89.9 million for principal, interest and other charges." The piece makes no mention of monies owed the government.

Anonymous said...

Don’t forget, Rudy Giuliani did this, wrecked this place, the home of an important community institution. And all for nothing! So the city could get 3 million—a drop in the budget bucket…nothing!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the new owners will clean up the two sides (street-side) of this mess of a property.. It should have been renovated a decade ago already.