Showing posts with label 605 E. Ninth St.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 605 E. Ninth St.. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2022

New murals depict LES history outside the long-empty CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center

Photos by Stacie Joy 

New murals are in progress on the 10th Street side of the former P.S. 64/CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by yesterday for a work-in-progress look at the murals that aim to beautify the sidewalk and celebrate the legacy of the founders of CHARAS. It's a PIRAGUA art space initiative in partnership with by the Thrive Collective, Loisaida Inc., LES Community Concerns, MoRUS and La Plaza Cultural.

The murals, which include one honoring longtime neighborhood activist Carlos "Chino" Garcia (below), are expected to be completed later this week...
The building, owned by Gregg Singer since 1998, 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.

This past Monday, a group of activists marched on the Midtown offices of Madison Realty Capital to demand the return of the former P.S. 64 to the community. You can read news coverage of the action at The Village Sun.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Public art returns to the former CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center

Photos by Kenny Toglia 

Public art has returned to the former CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center on Ninth Street/10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

There's a new installation on the property titled "Pumpkin Dome" via the Buckyteers, a radical art/engineering collective. The group is reclaiming the space for the community "and tells big real estate to back off," per a statement.
... group member Mark Chaos...
The five-floor building became the CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center after P.S. 64 left in the mid-1970s. New landlord Gregg Singer reportedly evicted the group in December 2001. He bought the property from the city during an auction in 1998 for $3.15 million, and it has remained vacant for 20-plus years.


Meanwhile, Madison Realty Capital has moved forward with a foreclosure against Singer ... and, as we first reported, the building is now being pitched for use as a medical facility or for educational purposes. 

H/T John Penley

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Long-vacant P.S. 64 now being pitched for medical use, educational purposes

Photo from July by Stacie Joy

The former P.S. 64 at 605 E. Ninth St., a point of contention in the neighborhood for the past 20-plus years, is now being offered for use as medical space or educational-related purposes. 

An EVG tipster points us to a new listing from late last week at LoopNet. According to the listing, 156,000 square feet of space is available for sale or lease here between Avenue B and Avenue C via Wexler Healthcare Properties at the Corcoran Group.
The listing states: 
The redevelopment and historic restoration of this century-old landmark, a former New York City elementary school, can be transformed into a variety of modern, amenity-rich opportunities, including:  
• Student Dormitories
• Education Center College
• Satellite Campus 
• Medical Center 
• Nursing Home 
• Assisted Living
The listing also notes that the property "can be made Article 28 compliant" and "leasehold condo structure considered."

The building became the CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center after the school left in 1977. New landlord Gregg Singer reportedly evicted the group in December 2001. He bought the property from the city during an auction in 1998 for $3.15 million.

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.

Now we're back to some familiar proposed uses for the space. Singer wanted to turn the building into a dorm (more here), though those plans never materialized. (In past years, the Joffrey Ballet and Cooper Union were attached to the project.) 

There was also a moment when the building could have been used for medical purposes: In March 2020, Singer reportedly offered the building to the city for use in treating patients with COVID. The city declined.

The address has multiple open fines and violations with the Department of Buildings, which still has a Stop Work Order (dating to August 2015) and a Full Vacate Order (from February 2019).


The five-story building has been vacant for 20-plus years.

Monday, March 20, 2017

There are pigeons trapped inside the former P.S. 64 on 9th Street


[Click image for larger size]

Someone put the above sign on the Ninth Street side of the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center this past weekend.

The sign notes that there are pigeons now trapped inside the building after the windows were recently boarded up on the top floor.

They are smashing up against the windows to get free. Heard 3 broken windows in one hour. Injured birds may be found on the ground hurt by the broken glass.

There's a number for the Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side.

As previously reported, developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, continues to push having the building converted into student housing.

Thanks to David Reyer for the photo!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

At the rally for the former PS 64 today at City Hall



As previously reported, local elected officials and other community leaders, organizations and residents held a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to get Mayor De Blasio's attention on the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street. (You can read the background here. Or here.)

EVG regular Peter Brownscombe shared these photos...





"Developers and their lobbyists are looking for every loophole they can find to convert Lower East Side community resources into luxury real estate opportunities," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "After what happened to Rivington House, properties with deed restrictions like this one deserve the strictest scrutiny from city agencies. We are still waiting for answers from City Hall to our questions about this property and its status, and we think Lower East Side residents have a right to demand a true community facility in this building."

City Council member Rosie Mendez, who helped organize the rally, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. Her office shared this statement: "The Former PS 64 CHARAS/El Bohio was a school building and a cultural community center that cultivated the hopes and dreams of so many people in our community. Community activists laid the seeds and the foundation that created our community gardens and our urban homesteading buildings while sitting in a room at CHARAS. This Valentine’s Day my community and I want nothing more than to get our building back."

And here are a few more photos... via Scuba Diva...




[Chino Garcia, one of the five founding members of CHARAS]

Reminder: Rally at City Hall today for PS 64



As we noted last week, City Council Member Rosie Mendez and other community leaders, organizations and residents are holding a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall today to get Mayor De Blasio's attention on the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street. The rally starts at 2 p.m. today.

As previously reported, developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, is reportedly pushing de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.

According to public records, Singer is continuing to retain high-powered lobbyist Jim Capalino, a former Mayor de Blasio ally, for the remainder of the year...


[Click for more detail]



Among Capalino's lobbying targets: the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and the Office of the First Deputy Mayor.

Capalino, according to a New York Daily News story in March 2016, steered $50,000 to de Blasio after pushing the city to lift the deed restriction at the Rivington House. (The mayor said last August that he has cut off contact with the lobbyist in the wake of multiple investigations into his administration, per Politico.)

Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told this to DNAinfo in a story published yesterday: "We want to save our community center and we don’t want another Rivington House situation where the restrictive deed on this property is undermined or circumvented and the dorm for hire plan that the developer is currently pursuing is approved and becomes the fate of the building."

It has been reported that Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, and hopes to have students move in by the fall of 2018.

Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

Previously

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Valentine's Day rally to get some love for the former PS 64



This coming Tuesday (Valentine's Day!), City Council Member Rosie Mendez and other community leaders, organizations and residents are holding a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall to get Mayor De Blasio's attention on the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street.

As previously reported, developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, is reportedly pushing de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.

According to published reports, Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, and hopes to have students move in by the fall of 2018.

Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

The rally starts at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Previously

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reminders: Community meeting about the former PS 64 is tonight


[EVG photo from Jan. 8]

As we noted back on Jan. 9, plans continue moving forward to convert the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street into student housing.

Developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, is reportedly pushing Mayor de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.

According to published reports, Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, and hopes to have students move in by the fall of 2018.

Here's more from Crain's in a piece published on Jan. 11:

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and other local officials wrote to Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler in October, saying that the lease does not meet the "community use" requirement, because Adelphi would use only part of the building. The officials also objected to the university's position that dormitories count as an appropriate community use. In an October letter to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Fisher argued that a dormitory would meet the deed-restriction requirements.

The disagreement touches a political nerve partly because the city's recent removal of a deed restriction a few blocks away allowed Rivington House, a nonprofit nursing home, to become high-priced condos. Unlike in that case, P.S. 64's deed restriction was issued by the City Council, and only the council may lift it. Singer is not seeking the restriction's removal, but the sensitivity stemming from the Rivington controversy and local opposition has kicked a Buildings Department matter up to the mayor's office.

CBS 2 also filed this report...



Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

All this and more will be a topic of discussion during a community meeting tonight (first noted here on Jan. 9)...



The meeting tonight is at 6:30 at Loisaida, Inc., 710 E. Ninth St. near Avenue C (next to Ninth Street Espresso).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Community meeting set as dorm plans continue moving forward at the former PS 64

Monday, January 9, 2017

Community meeting set as dorm plans continue moving forward at the former PS 64



There are recently disclosed new developments in the works at the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center as developer Gregg Singer remains committed to converting the long-empty building that extends from Ninth Street to 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C into dorms. (Singer bought the formerly city-owned building in 1998 for $3.15 million.)

According to the Greenwich Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP):

[Singer] is seeking to get around the restrictive declaration and the tighter rules we helped fight for years ago and sneak in illegitimate uses. He has hired the same lobbyist involved in the scandalous lifting of the deed restriction for the nearby Rivington House.

Rather than get the City to lift the deed restriction as was done there, he is seeking to get the City to redefine the restrictions on dorms that apply to this and other sites, to make it easier to sneak in illegal “dorms for hire” and to do work on the building without required documentation and commitments in place. The City has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the developer’s request, which has far-reaching implications not only for this property but others throughout the City.

Last June, The Commercial Observer reported that Madison Realty Capital provided a $44 million loan to Singer’s Singer Financial Corporation to recapitalize a dorm.

In past years, the Joffrey Ballet and Cooper Union were attached to the project.

Now, as The Villager reported on Dec. 26, the new "anchor tenant" is Adelphi University, which has an outpost at 75 Varick St. Singer reportedly signed a lease with the school this past August.

The Schedule A on file with the DOB shows that the Adelphi students would be on the second and third floors of the building... while the fourth and fifth would remain unoccupied for the time being...



The lobbyist in question is Jim Capalino, a former Mayor de Blasio ally. As Politico noted, Capalino and his staffers have a knack for getting what they want for their clients.

Capalino has been working on behalf of Singer's LLC since April 2014. Here's more from The Villager:

Records from the Lobbying Bureau of the Office of the City Clerk show that from January 2015 to December 2016, 9th & 10th L.L.C. made three payments to James F. Capalino and Associates for a total of roughly $227,000. The first payment was for $30,000, with the “target” being the Department of Buildings, and the purpose being for “determination regarding real property.” The second was for $86,666, with the targets listed as D.O.B., along with “councilmembers and community boards,” with the intended purpose stated as “aiding the client in seeking various approvals for its property.” The third payment was for $120,000, with the target again D.O.B. and the purpose only listed as “non-procurement.”

The landmarked building has sat empty since 2001, when Singer reportedly evicted CHARAS, the cultural and community center. Through the years, preservationists, community groups and local elected officials have been successful in opposing Singer's various plans, including a 23-story megadorm. At the same time, there has been a movement to return the building to use as a cultural and community center.

There's a community meeting on Jan. 18 to discuss the latest developments at the former PS 64 ...



The meeting is 6:30 p.m. on the 18th at Loisaida, Inc., 710 E. Ninth St. near Avenue C (next to Ninth Street Espresso if that helps).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rebranded P.S. 64 up for grabs: Please welcome University House at Tompkins Square Park to the neighborhood

Deed for 'community facility use only' at the former P.S. 64 now on the market

Efforts continue to fight the dorm planned for the former PS 64 on East 9th Street

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approves application for modifications at PS 64

'Misinformation' cited as DOB issues Stop Work Order at the former PS 64; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon

Development drama continues at the former P.S. 64, where the city approved dorm-conversion permits (again)

[Updated] The former P.S. 64 appears to be for sale

The latest PS 64 debacle: Investors sue Gregg Singer

Monday, June 27, 2016

Report: Gregg Singer secures $44 million loan to continue plan to convert former PS 64 into a dorm



Last time that we heard anything about the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center, the owner, developer Gregg Singer, was being sued by his investors.

The Real Deal in late December reported:

The asset manager said it and the other investors put almost $8 million worth of debt and equity into the project, and after paying off the defaulted mortgage the development partnership took out a $22 million bridge loan at 11 percent interest, guaranteed by Onyx.

Despite earlier reports that Singer had signed the West Village’s Ballet School as a tenant, however, progress at the site struggled, and in July the company defaulted on the loan, kicking the interest rate up to 16 percent.

Singer apparently remains committed to converting the long-empty building that extends from Ninth Street to 10th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C into dorms.

The Commercial Observer reported last week that "Madison Realty Capital has provided a $44 million loan to Gregg Singer’s Singer Financial Corporation to recapitalize a student housing development."

Here's more:
“There is a shortage of quality student housing options in Manhattan,” Joshua Zegen, a managing principal and a co-founder of MRC, said in prepared remarks provided to COF. “Our financing of this project will help the borrower tap into that demand and turn a vacant building into a thriving housing option for students residing in New York City. This new development will provide a brand new student living facility with contemporary amenities, right in the heart of the East Village, one of the most artistic and diverse communities in the city.”

The article notes the new dorm will house 535 students, and include outdoor spaces for them.

It's like 2013 all over again. Or maybe 2009.

More than three years ago there were reports that both Cooper Union and the Joffrey Ballet were leasing space here for students.

It is not known — publicly anyway — if Singer has any signed leases for the space, which still needs approval from the city to renovate. (A Stop Work Order remains on the property, dated from last August.) Singer did not comment in the Observer story.

Singer bought the formerly city-owned building on East 9th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C in 1998 for $3.15 million. There has been a movement to return the building to use as a cultural and community center.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rebranded P.S. 64 up for grabs: Please welcome University House at Tompkins Square Park to the neighborhood

Deed for 'community facility use only' at the former P.S. 64 now on the market

Efforts continue to fight the dorm planned for the former PS 64 on East 9th Street

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approves application for modifications at PS 64

'Misinformation' cited as DOB issues Stop Work Order at the former PS 64; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon

Development drama continues at the former P.S. 64, where the city approved dorm-conversion permits (again)

[Updated] The former P.S. 64 appears to be for sale

The latest PS 64 debacle: Investors sue Gregg Singer