Since then, readers and residents have noted a lot of activity on the property.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy took these top three photos on Jan. 5, when workers said they were "sealing this place up." Afterward, the property will likely sit in limbo for a little longer.
At the end of 2022, news broke that Gregg Singer's nearly 23-year tenure as building owner had come to an end.
On Dec. 23, New York State Justice Melissa Crane ordered the foreclosure and sale of the building with a default, including penalties and interest totaling approximately $90 million. (You can read Crane's 20-page decision and order here.)
The order could send the property back to auction within 90 days, according to members of Save Our Community Center CHARAS/former P.S. 64 (SOCCC-64).
The property that Singer purchased from the city in 1998 for $3.15 million fell into foreclosure last year and is reportedly back in the hands of lender Madison Realty Capital. As The Village Voice reported: "Madison Realty Capital declined to comment on the foreclosure or what plans it has for the building."
The five-floor structure is currently being offered for use as medical space or educational-related purposes. You can find the listing at Corcoran here. (Aside from the efforts to seal up the building to ward off intruders, thrillseekers, and the elements, the long-standing Stop Work Order and Full Vacate are still on file with the department of buildings.)
It's important to note that 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.
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. According to published reports, the Mayor said he'd work to "right the wrongs of the past."
SOCCC-64 members hope that Mayor Adams considers this request. Per the group's press release after the judge's decision: "We are excited to finally have the opportunity to return the building to full community use, and are ready to work with Mayor Adams to restore this once vibrant community hub," said Chino Garcia, co-founder of Charas.
As The Village Voice pointed out, "exactly how a CHARAS-like community center might be restored to P.S. 64 is hard to say, given the tremendous debt that Singer leveraged on the building, and the cost to renovate a building left to rot for two decades."