Showing posts with label Boys' Club of New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boys' Club of New York. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Boys' Club has moved out of its longtime home on 10th Street and Avenue A

For the first time in 121 years, the Boys' Club of New York will no longer be part of 287 E. 10th St. at Avenue A.

A spokesperson confirmed that the nonprofit was leaving the Harriman Clubhouse this summer and that they'd continue to support the LES community with after-school and weekend programming, though they didn't offer specifics. 

The spokesperson and other BCNY officials did not respond to follow-up queries about the timing of the departure and its future in the neighborhood. 

This past week, workers were spotted removing shelves, tables and other office equipment from the facility, where the gate was down on the front entrance...
One former volunteer said the last day here was on June 30. 

As we first reported in June 2018, the Boys' Club put the 7-story building on the sales market. At the time, Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO, said the sale of the East Village building would allow the organization the opportunity to start new programs in other neighborhoods in need of its services. (To be clear, the Boys' Club decided to sell their building — they were not forced out. The building was pitched for educational purposes as well as residential conversion.)

In August 2019, Crain's first reported that Aaron Sosnick, an East Village resident and founder of the investment fund A.R.T. Advisors LLC, was the new owner of the Harriman Clubhouse. He bought it for $31.725 million and reportedly planned to sell the property, "potentially at a substantial loss," to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

It's not known at the moment what might be next now that the Boys' Club has officially left the facility.

The Boys' Club originally planned to vacate the building after the 2019-2020 school year, though the pandemic likely changed that timing. In a press release at the time, Tosh stated: "This will allow time for BCNY to secure a smaller permanent space in the neighborhood to provide programming."

E.H. Harriman founded the Boy's Club in 1876. The Harriman Clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A opened in 1901...
... and how it looked in 1908...
Previously on EV Grieve:

Monday, September 16, 2019

Orientation underway at the Boys' Club for the 2019-2020 school year



The Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) is prepping for one more school year at their Harriman Clubhouse on Avenue A at 10th Street.

In early August, news broke that Aaron Sosnick, an East Village resident and founder of the investment fund A.R.T. Advisors LLC, was the new owner of the Harriman Clubhouse, as Crain's first reported.

He bought the 7-story building for $31.725 million, and reportedly plans to sell the property, "potentially at a substantial loss," to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

Lost in some of this transaction hoopla: What the Boys' Club was going to do for the near future in this neighborhood.

In a press release from July, Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO stated:

"We remain committed to serving our Harriman members and their families and, through an arrangement with the buyer, will stay in the building for another year. This will allow time for BCNY to secure a smaller permanent space in the neighborhood to provide programming."

And...

The sale provides BCNY with the opportunity to continue many of its flagship afterschool programs — art, music, physical education, and academic enrichment — for its current members. Proceeds from the sale will also be used to expand BCNY’s services to neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

The Boys' Club quietly began the sales process in June 2018, as I first reported. Tosh said at the time that the sale of the East Village building would allow the organization the opportunity to start new programs in other neighborhoods in need of its services. (To be clear, the Boys' Club decided to sell their building — they were not forced out. The building was pitched for educational purposes as well as residential conversion.)

Meanwhile, according to the BCNY website, registration is open for both current and new BCNY members. The Harriman Clubhouse has also been hosting parent orientations in the past week.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30

RUMOR: The Boys' Club building on 10th and A has a new owner; will remain in use as a nonprofit

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Report: New owner of the Boys' Club building on 10th Street and Avenue A — revealed!



Aaron Sosnick, an East Village resident and founder of the investment fund A.R.T. Advisors LLC, is the new owner of the Boys' Club of New York's Harriman Clubhouse, Crain's reported yesterday.

Last month, the Boys’ Club completed a deal to sell its East Village property on Avenue A and 10th Street. The buyer was only mentioned as "a wealthy, anonymous individual." The 7-story building was sold to 287 East 10th Street LLC c/o Denham Wolf Real Estate Services for $31.725 million. (The only rumor we heard was that the buyer lived in the neighbor.)

More from Crain's last month:

Paul Wolf, a real estate broker and adviser who specializes in working with nonprofits and who represented the foundation, said the buyer wanted to remain anonymous. Wolf said the buyer was planning to sell the property, potentially at a substantial loss, to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

"The goal is to keep this as a community facility," said Wolf, who is co-president of the firm Denham Wolf. "The intent is to sell it to a nonprofit at a lower price than the purchase price."

And as for figuring out who the buyer was:

City records show that a limited liability company, 287 East 10th LLC, named for the address of the Boys’ Club building, purchased it. A woman named Carey Thorpe is listed as the authorized signatory for the LLC. Thorpe, according to public records, is the spouse of Benjamin Pierson, the chief operating officer and general counsel for Sosnick’s A.R.T. Advisors.

A.R.T. Advisors has $3.7 billion in assets under management, according to The Real Deal in January 2018. Sosnick’s name has been in the news here before for reportedly opposing Gregg Singer's plans to redevelop P.S. 64 on Ninth Street. (Sosnick owns two units in the Christodora House next door, as news reports have pointed out.)

Sosnick is also the principal trustee of La Vida Feliz Foundation, "and uses his foundation quietly to support philanthropy in the arts, education, human services and community projects."

The Boys' Club quietly began the sales process in June 2018, as I first reported. Stephen Tosh, executive director of the Boys' Club, said that the sale of the East Village building would allow the organization the opportunity to start new programs in other neighborhoods in need of its services. (To be clear, the Boys' Club decided to sell their building — they were not forced out. The building was pitched for educational purposes as well as residential conversion.)

For their part, community activists and parents said that a compelling need remains in the East Village and Lower East Side for the kind of activities that the Boys' Club offers.

The Boys' Club is expected to lease space here for another year.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30

RUMOR: The Boys' Club building on 10th and A has a new owner; will remain in use as a nonprofit

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Curiosity about the anonymous buyer behind the sale of the Boys' Club Harriman Clubhouse



Last Wednesday, news arrived that "a wealthy, anonymous individual" had purchased the the Boys' Club Harriman Clubhouse on Avenue A and 10th Street.

We had heard rumors in previous weeks of such a transaction; and that the Boys' Club would continue to lease space here for another year.

As for the buyer, per Crain's:

Paul Wolf, a real estate broker and adviser who specializes in working with nonprofits and who represented the foundation, said the buyer wanted to remain anonymous. Wolf said the buyer was planning to sell the property, potentially at a substantial loss, to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

"The goal is to keep this as a community facility," said Wolf, who is co-president of the firm Denham Wolf. "The intent is to sell it to a nonprofit at a lower price than the purchase price."

As the Daily News noted, "The buyer, who bought the land as a foundation, wants to remain anonymous, according to the sources, one of whom said he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal."

The deal here has residents recalling the anonymous donor who came to the rescue of St. Brigid’s on Avenue B and Eighth Street in 2008, sparing the circa-1848 building from demolition and making it possible for the structure to be reopened as a parish church.

Per the Times in May 2008:

The Archdiocese of New York announced on Wednesday that a donor had come forward with an “unexpected but very welcome gift” of $20 million after a private meeting with Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the archbishop of New York.

The gift includes $10 million to restore the building, at 119 Avenue B; $2 million to establish an endowment for the parish “so that it might best meet the religious and spiritual needs of the people living in the community”; and $8 million to support St. Brigid’s School [ed note: closed now as of June 2019] and other Catholic schools in need.

We never heard definitively, but — via the rumor mill — the leading candidates behind saving the church were Irish-American philanthropist Chuck Feeney, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Donald Trump and Mel Gibson. (And Matt Dillon!)

Now various residents and readers are searching for clues behind the identity of the person who bought the Boys' Club building, which opened in 1901.

Public records show that the 7-story building was sold to 287 East 10th Street LLC c/o Denham Wolf Real Estate Services for $31.725 million, as per the "Details" document and page 12 of the deed accessed here.

According to public records, Boys' Club Executive Director Stephen Tosh represented the Boys Club in the sale. Carey Thope (or Thorpe) represented 287 East 10th Street LLC. It's unclear at the moment who Thope/Thorpe is. Interestingly enough, 287 East 10th Street LLC is not listed in the Division of Corporations - New York State Department of State database.



So the searching and guessing will continue.

Meanwhile, Sen. Brad Hoylman shared his thoughts on the developments here. He spoke out against a potential sale last fall with several other local elected officials who had concerns about the loss of the services the Boys' Club provides to the neighborhood:

"Whoever this angel investor is, I want to thank them on behalf of our community. They are saving a century-old community facility from being converted into luxury condos or a high-priced hotel, which sadly has been the real estate narrative for the East Village.

While I wish the Boys’ Club had never put the Harriman Clubhouse on the open market in the first place, I’m grateful to them for finding this angel investor that will allow young people and families in our community to continue to benefit from this splendid facility.

I’m hopeful that the unnamed foundation will work with Community Board 3, elected officials, and other local stakeholders to ensure that community organizations have a place in the new building and that the Boys’ Club, which is reportedly taking space in the building, will decide to stay in this location and continue to provide the essential services it offers to boys and young men."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Conspiracy theories: Who was the anonymous donor behind St. Brigid's $20 million donation?

More speculation on the 'saint' who saved St. Brigid's

Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30

RUMOR: The Boys' Club building on 10th and A has a new owner; will remain in use as a nonprofit

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

'Wealthy, anonymous individual' buys Boys' Club building; will remain in use for a nonprofit



As we reported last week, multiple sources told us that the Boys' Club have sold their Harriman Clubhouse to a "nonprofit arts organization and will be a theater and house various arts-related entities." In addition, the Boys' Club would rent part of the space for one more year while searching for a new space in the area.

However, a Boys' Club rep told us that building has not been sold, and "the process is continuing."

And one week later: Crain's reports that the building on Avenue A and 10th Street was sold for $32 million to "a wealthy, anonymous individual."

Per Crain's:

Paul Wolf, a real estate broker and adviser who specializes in working with nonprofits and who represented the foundation, said the buyer wanted to remain anonymous. Wolf said the buyer was planning to sell the property, potentially at a substantial loss, to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

"The goal is to keep this as a community facility," said Wolf, who is co-president of the firm Denham Wolf. "The intent is to sell it to a nonprofit at a lower price than the purchase price."

Hot take!

"This is a remarkable turn of events," said state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who last year was one among several elected officials to criticize the club's decision to sell. "Certainly this is a very valuable property in a highly desirable neighborhood right next to a park. But instead of a private developer that wants to build condos, we're getting a foundation that wants to invest in the local community."

Executive Director Stephen Tosh said the Boys' Club will remain at 287 E. 10th St. for the next year while it searches for new space.

As I first reported in June 2018, Tosh told alumni about the BCNY's plan to sell its Harriman Clubhouse, which opened in 1901. The BCNY would continue to use the space through June 2019. A listing for the 7-story building arrived on the Cushman & Wakefield website last October with a $32 million asking price.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30

RUMOR: The Boys' Club building on 10th and A has a new owner; will remain in use as a nonprofit

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

RUMOR: The Boys' Club building on 10th and A has a new owner; will remain in use as a nonprofit


[EVG photo from last fall]

In recent weeks, several residents — and credible sources — have shared tips about the Boys' Club of New York's East Village clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A.

As I first reported in June 2018, Executive Director Stephen Tosh told alumni about the BCNY's plan to sell its Harriman Clubhouse, which opened in 1901. The BCNY would continue to use the space through June 2019. A listing for the 7-story building arrived on the Cushman & Wakefield website last October with a $32 million asking price.

According to several tipsters who have provided reliable information in the past, sources at the Boys' Club have said that the building was sold to a "nonprofit arts organization and will be a theater and house various arts-related entities." In addition, the Boys' Club would rent part of the space for one more year while searching for a new space in the area.

Neighbors have also noted a surprising lack of activity at the building this summer — at odds with an organization supposedly on the move.

However, to date, there isn't any public record about a sale of the Harriman Clubhouse at 287 E. 10th St.

In addition, Boys' Club officials squashed the sales rumor.

"The building has not been sold. The process is continuing," Shonda Smith, the BCNY's director of communications, said in an email. "When we have something to share, we will let you know."

The listing for the building last fall pitched the property as either "an ideal conversion opportunity or continued educational/recreational use by an end user." The 50,000-square foot building includes classrooms, a gymnasium, an auditorium, music studios, recreational and pool space.

The accompanying sales materials highlighted the recent luxury condo developments that have cropped up nearby, including Steiner East Village and Ben Shaoul's 100 Avenue A.

Last fall, local elected officials — including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera — urged the BCNY board to postpone the sale until they consult with the community in "good faith." However, the BCNY declined to meet with the elected leaders.

Tosh said last year that the sale of the East Village building would allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in a neighborhood such as Brownsville or East New York.

For their part, community activists and parents have said that a compelling need remains in the East Village and Lower East Side for the kind of activities that the Boys' Club offers.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Boys' Club fast tracks sale of East Village clubhouse as final bids are due Oct. 30



Officials at the Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) are expediting the sales process of the Harriman Clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A.

A listing for the 7-story building arrived on the Cushman & Wakefield website earlier this month, with a $32 million asking price.

Now, the listing notes an Oct. 30 bid deadline for the property, which opened in 1901...



The terms are all cash...



The building is being pitched as either "an ideal conversion opportunity or continued educational/recreational use by an end user." The accompanying materials highlight the recent luxury condo developments that have cropped up nearby, including Steiner East Village and Ben Shaoul's 100 Avenue A.

Local elected officials — including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera — have urged the BCNY board to postpone the sale until they consult with the community in "good faith." However, the BCNY has declined to meet with the elected leaders, and continue with plans to vacate the building in June 2019.

Executive Director Stephen Tosh has said the BCNY will look to rent space elsewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. He also stated that the sale of the East Village building would allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in a neighborhood such as Brownsville or East New York.

Community activists and parents have said that a compelling need remains in this neighborhood for the kind of activities that the Boys' Club offers.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million

Friday, October 5, 2018

[Updated] Exclusive: The Boys' Club of New York puts the Harriman Clubhouse on the sales market for $32 million



Officials at the Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) are moving forward with their plans to sell the Harriman Clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A.

A listing for the 7-story building is now active on the Cushman & Wakefield website.

The listing notes that the property's new owner could continue on with an "educational/recreational use," though the emphasis seems to be on the recent luxury development in the area:

The building is currently configured as a 7 story walk up building and features and expansive 119’ of frontage on East 10th Street and 71.25’ along Avenue A. The 9,067-square foot (119’ x 102.21’ IRR.) lot is split zoned as R7A/R8B with a commercial C2-5 overlay – commercial FAR 2.0, Residential FAR 3.45/4.0, with IH 4.6 community facility 4.0. The building will be delivered vacant making for an ideal conversion opportunity or continued educational/recreational use by an end user.

The 50,000-square foot building is comprised of classroom, office, gymnasium, auditorium, music studios, recreational and pool space. Every floor boasts 10’+ ceilings with many touting double height ceilings. The concrete slab construction enables virtually beamless floor plates and allows for large open rooms.

The East Village is home to a number of newly completed condo and rental developments. Many of which has already been absorbed by neighborhood demand or sold before building completion. The Steiner at 437 East 12th Street, The Jefferson on 211 East 13th Street and 100 Avenue A are among many of the condo developments that are rapidly selling in the neighborhood.

The asking price: $32 million. (The set-up PDF is here.)

As I first reported in June, Executive Director Stephen Tosh told alumni of the BCNY's plan to sell the clubhouse, which opened in 1901. The BCNY would continue to use the space through June 2019. (You can find more background here.)

According to the letter to alumni, the BCNY will look to rent space elsewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. The letter also stated that the sale of the East Village building would allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in other communities, including Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx.

In his letter. Tosh wrote that: "The neighborhood surrounding the building has changed dramatically since Mr. Harriman built this building, especially in the past few decades."

In August, the Daily News obtained a copy of the Feb. 24, 2015, BCNY board meeting minutes, in which Tosh stated that "enrollment was actually rising sharply, based on an increase over the preceding five-year period, mainly among boys and young men from low-income families."

This past Saturday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, City Council member Carlina Rivera and Manhattan Community Board 3 officials held a press conference outside the Clubhouse to urge the BCNY board to postpone the sale until they consult with the community in "good faith."



According to Hoylman, a sale of the Harriman Clubhouse would make it "the latest casualty in the battle against gentrification in the East Village," citing the 2012 sale of the Mary Help of Christians property on Avenue A and 12th Street to developer Douglas Steiner. (During the summer of 2013, workers demolished the church, school and rectory to make way for ultra-luxury condos that Steiner named after himself.)

"More than a quarter of Lower East Side residents live below the federal poverty level," Hoylman said in a statement. "Clearly, families in the East Village and Lower East Side still need the services and programs offered at the Harriman Clubhouse. I urge the Boys’ Club of New York to identify the needs of boys and young men in our community and meet with us to try to find a solution to save this precious neighborhood resource."

As Patch reported last week, Tosh declined meeting with elected officials in a Sept. 14 letter. "Our role in the neighborhood defines us," Tosh said. "It is also bigger than any one building. Wherever our East Village clubhouse is situated, we remain a vital part of an ever-changing area."

Updated 11:45 a.m.

Upon learning of the this listing, Sen. Hoylman issued this statement:

"It’s extremely disappointing that the Boys’ Club is putting the Harriman Clubhouse on the open market for $32 million without community engagement, an analysis of local needs or concrete plans to continue their services and programs for young men and boys in the East Village and Lower East Side. The local community has good reason to be angry and confused, and will, unfortunately, see this as another example of a nonprofit selling out the neighborhood, putting real-estate profits ahead of the needs of young people and contributing to the wholesale gentrification of their neighborhood."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

Saturday, September 29, 2018

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale



Local elected officials are speaking out today to urge officials at the the Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) to postpone their plans to sell the Harriman Clubhouse building on 10th Street and Avenue A.

Per the media advisory:

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and representatives from Manhattan Community Board 3 will hold a press conference to demand that the Board of Trustees for the Boys Club of New York postpone the sale of the historic 117-year-old Harriman Clubhouse on East 10th Street.

Attendance at the Harriman Clubhouse, particularly from boys and young men from lower-income families, has increased in recent years despite claims of enrollment made by the board to justify the sale.

I first reported on the BCNY's plan to sell the Clubhouse. Under this plan, the 7-story clubhouse would remain in use by the BCNY through June 2019. (You can find more background here.)

According to a letter in June from BCNY Executive Director Stephen Tosh, they will look to rent space somewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. The letter also states that the sale of the East Village building will allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in other communities, including Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx.

Last month, Hoylman and other local elected officials asked for a community meeting to hear more about the BCNY's plans.

As Patch reported yesterday, Tosh declined the meeting offer in a Sept. 14 letter. "Our role in the neighborhood defines us. It is also bigger than any one building. Wherever our East Village clubhouse is situated, we remain a vital part of an ever-changing area."

Hoylman told Patch: "We'd lose ... a crown jewel of youth and civic engagement precisely at a time in our city's and nation's history when we need these institutions for boys and young men. What we're concerned about is that its services might be non-centrally located and that the clubhouse would be converted into condominiums and hotels, which would be a double whammy for the community."

The rally starts at noon today outside 287 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

Monday, August 27, 2018

Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse



As I first reported on June 21, the Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) plans to sell its Harriman Clubhouse building on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Avenue A.

In a letter to alumni, Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO, said that the 7-floor building, which opened in 1901, will remain in operation through June 2019.

Per the letter:

As you know, when E.H. Harriman founded the Boy's Club in 1876, 10th Street and Avenue A was in the middle of a poor, immigrant neighborhood where most boys had little opportunity to learn and grow and nowhere to feel safe. He opened this clubhouse to give any boy on the Lower East Side a shot at a better life.

The neighborhood surrounding the building has changed dramatically since Mr. Harriman built this building, especially in the past few decades.

The Daily News obtained a copy of the Feb. 24, 2015, BCNY board meeting minutes, in which Tosh stated that "enrollment was actually rising sharply, based on an increase over the preceding five-year period, mainly among boys and young men from low-income families."

Per the News:

At that point, the board had hired CBRE, a real estate investment firm to assess the value of its three city properties, and some board members indicated a desire to sell Harriman even then and use the proceeds for income or another facility in a different neighborhood, possibly East New York, Brooklyn. "Real Estate is a source of capital," the minutes note.

It was in that meeting that Tosh told the board the Harriman Clubhouse had experienced a "47% increase in attendance over five years and the majority are from low-income families."

Tosh told the News that the 47 percent increase "came only after we invested significant resources, including picking up boys from a number of elementary schools." He added: "This is still well below the attendance levels from the 1980s and 1990s, when the neighborhood was very different."

This revelation from the minutes upset local state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who told the News:

"Contrary to the claims of declining enrollment, the minutes show that the clubhouse has seen a surge in attendance, particularly from boys and young men from lower-income families. It confirms that if anything, there's a growing need. The Boys' Club should be building on its legacy, not selling out to the highest bidder. The last thing this neighborhood needs is another luxury condominium or expensive hotel."

Last week, Hoylman and other local elected officials sent a letter to the organization, asking them to put a hold on their plans to sell the clubhouse in order to gather community input and explore other options to keep the facility here.

Sen. Hoylman's office shared a copy of the letter with me. It reads, in part:

As representatives of the area, we were disappointed to have learned initially about the sale of the Harriman Clubhouse at a very late stage in the decision-making process. In order to ensure that your decision was fully informed by the community you serve, we strongly urge you to postpone placing the Harriman Clubhouse on the market until you convene a community meeting to take public input on your plans to sell the Harriman Clubhouse and present your plans for remaining services in the community.

The meeting’s agenda should include the following:
1. Membership profile by measures such as age, area of residence, etc.;
2. A transparent overview of organizational finances;
3. Overview of past outreach efforts to increase membership among boys and
young men at various age levels; and
4. Options and strategies that would allow your organization to remain in the current facility.

We strongly value your mission to empower boys and young men by providing effective programs and a supportive community. As you are well aware, the Harriman Clubhouse has been a vital part of our neighborhood for more than a century. Therefore, the decision to sell such an important community asset must only be taken after rigorous analysis and extensive public consultation.

Aside from Hoylman, the letter was signed by Gale Brewer, Manhattan borough president, Carlina Rivera, District 2 City Councilmember, Harvey Epstein, New York State assembly member, and Alysha Lewis-Coleman, chair of Community Board 3.

Tosh told the News that they are reviewing the letter while remaining "deeply committed to serving our current members with programming on the Lower East Side."

Previously on Ev Grieve:
Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Report: Gregg Singer thinks the city should buy the Boys' Club of New York building on 10th and A



As I first reported on June 21, the Boys' Club of New York is selling its Harriman Clubhouse building on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Avenue A.

And developer Gregg Singer, who has been trying to turn the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street into a dorm these past 20 years, has the perfect buyer for the Boys' Club — the city.

Community activists, preservationists and some local elected officials have long been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return to use as a cultural and community center.

So people want a community center? In Singer's estimation, the Boys' Club is the building for that, as he told Patch in an interview published yesterday.

"It's next to Tompkins Square Park, it's a couple of blocks from this property, it's in good condition, its got a pool, basketball court, music rooms, art rooms — it's crazy. So it's ready to go," said Singer, on a recent tour of the gutted former P.S. 64. "We've put about $65 million hard and soft costs to renovate this property. There, it's already in existence so if they really do need a community center, there you go, it's right in your lap."

Reaction!

"It's sort of a ludicrous idea," said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "The connection that this community feels to the community center is very strong and it has remained strong for decades and the community's resolve to get this building back [will not be] diverted."

Last October, Mayor de Blasio said that his administration would take steps to reacquire the property ... without actually offering any further details on how the city would do this.

Meanwhile, the Boys' Club building, which opened in 1901, will remain in operation through June 2019.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

The Times explores the past, present and future of the former P.S. 64

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019



The Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) will be selling its Harriman Clubhouse building on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Avenue A, according to a recent letter to alumni from Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO.

An EVG reader, and an alum of the Boys' Club, shared a copy of the letter, which states that the building, which opened in 1901, will remain in operation through June 2019.

According to the letter, BCNY will look to rent space somewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. The letter also states that the sale of the East Village building will allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in other communities, including Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx.



A few excerpts from the letter:

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that the Board of Trustees of the Boys' Club of New York has decided to sell the Harriman Clubhouse building...

As you know, when E.H. Harriman founded the Boy's Club in 1876, 10th Street and Avenue A was in the middle of a poor, immigrant neighborhood where most boys had little opportunity to learn and grow and nowhere to feel safe. He opened this clubhouse to give any boy on the Lower East Side a shot at a better life.

The neighborhood surrounding the building has changed dramatically since Mr. Harriman built this building, especially in the past few decades. The sale of the property now will allow BCNY to provide programming to an even greater number of boys and young men in more underserved communities. The Board will use proceeds of the sale to start new programs in Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx. The Board has no plans to sell Gerry Clubhouse in East Harlem or Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing.

At least six new high-end luxury buildings have arrived near the BCNY outpost in recent years, including Ben Shaoul's 100 Avenue A, Extell's EVGB and Douglas Steiner's Steiner East Village.

In 2012, Steiner bought the former Mary Help of Christians property on Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street from the Archdiocese of New York for $41 million. The church and school were torn down.

No word yet what the BCNY building might fetch on the market... or what might happen to the 7-story building — complete gut renovation or full demolition to make way for a new residential complex.


[Boys' Club photo from 1934 via NYPL]

Updated 2:30 p.m.

Patch's coverage includes comments from Alice Maggin, the club's director of communication.

Today, the building is equipped with two gymnasiums, a swimming pool on the seventh floor and a rooftop space where a slew of athletic, music and art programs are offered to roughly 300 members, boys ages 7-to-21. Club officials have not begun talks with specific buyers yet, but aim to sell the space to a group with the community's needs in mind rather than a developer who would raze the structure.

"That building is built like a bomb shelter — thick walls of concrete and steel — if it were to be knocked down it would be hugely expensive," said Maggin. "It's a seven-story building with unique features, we're hoping that it could become something for the area."