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East Village, PS64/CHARAS

605 9TH STREET / 350 10TH STREET

BETWEEN AVENUE B & C

• Building Class W1 • 2022 DEBT (P3) $309,304.82
Property Value $6.2M • Landmark •
• 205 Complaints • 79 Open Violations •
• 5 Stories • Built 1906 • Zipcode 10009 •

State Assembly 74 | (Harvey Epstein)
State Senate 27 (Brad Hoylman)
Council District 2 (Carlina Rivera)
Manhattan Community District 3
BBL ​​1003920010 Borough 1Block 00392Lot 0010

History

Built 1905-1906, construction of a building had led to the establishment of a Class W1 facility, named Public School 64. Located in East Village of Manhattan, this gigantic and wondrous of a building is located at two addresses, forming a connection between blocks, 350 East 10th street and 605 East 9th Street. It stands 5 stories high between Avenue B and Avenue C, in the Manhattan Community District 3, and is in the reach of State Assembly 74, State Senate 27, and Council District 2. 

In the 1960s, the city rented out the Christodora building (located next door to PS64) to Black Panthers, Young Lords, and other community groups. Due to the difficulty of researching first-hand records on the operations that took place during this time, rumors regarding the reasons for the closure remain to be reported by capitalist journalists. A deal with the city was reached during the eviction of the organizers of the Christodora building in exchange for the vacant PS64 building. As a result, Chino Garcia and other activists decided to resume their operations at PS64, renaming it CHARAS Community Center.

In court and out of court, there was a long struggle to keep the CHARAS building in the hands of community members and activists. The judge, however, ruled in December 2001 that the activist should be evicted. The opposition of a property pimp does not end there. Gregg Singer has been battling Landmark regulations since then. In January 2009, Singer’s project should run smoothly if all plans adhere to the New York City Landmark laws and regulations… Evidently, Singer has not been so sincere.

As the rent for CHARAS was $874/month for the whole building, activist focused its efforts on community defense, medical care, arts, and other activities that provided social opportunity and rehabilitation. It was run by many former gang members and provided a safe space for drug users as well. It is pertinent to note that some artists with roots in CHARAS include Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, and Spike Lee. On July 20th, 1998, former Mayor Giuliani sold the building at auction.

Even though CHARAS members and their surrounding community disapproved of the sale, the building was ultimately sold to Gregg Singer… but not before the auction was bombed with 10,000 crickets. It only took about 45 minutes for the halt to be lifted, and Singer found himself the new owner of PS64/CHARAS/El Bohio. The community was given 30 days to move out by Gregg Singer in the summer of 1999.

Singer successfully evicted the 22-year-old CHARAS community from the building.

It was attempted to avoid a landmark commission, but by September 13th 2006, the Landmark Preservation Commission had taken action. Many attempts were made during this time and in the following years to dig into the loopholes of constructing a for-profit dormitory, but all of these attempts failed. Mayor de Blasio stated in a public forum on October 12, 2017 that it was a mistake for the Giuliani administration to sell the building. A mayor or his office failed to contact the owner and refused to meet with him or discuss the project with him. A letter was sent by the owner’s managing partner to Mayor de Blasio on March 19, 2020, offering to use the building for free during the Coronavirus outbreak. It was not of interest to the Mayor.

As long as Gregg Singer retains ownership, he hopes that this new administration led by Eric Adams will approach this issue differently.

Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee

The last posted meeting was on [Monday, July 11 at 6:30pm]
Please check the Community Board 3 link above

Community Board 3,
Full Board Meeting

The last posted meeting was on [Monday, July 25, 2022 – 6:30pm]
Please check the Community Board 3 link above

Allies

East Village Community Coalition
143 Avenue B – Simplex
New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 979-2344

Association of Latino Business Owners and Residents
LES / East Village

Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) 

Cooper Square Committee 

East Village Independent Merchants Association 

Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) 

LES Ecology Center 

Loisaida Inc. 

Lower Eastside Girls Club C

Community Board 3

Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

Chatham Sq – Cooper Sq

First Street Block Association
1st St, 1st-2nd Ave

Friends of Meltzer Park (FOMP)
1st Ave-Ave A, 1st-2nd St

2nd Street Block Association
2nd St, 1st Ave-Ave A

East 3rd Street Block Association
Ave B-D

East 4th Street Avenues A-B Block Association
4th St, Ave A-B

All The Way East 4th Street Block Association
4th St, Ave C-D

East 5th Street Block Association
1st-3rd Aves, 2nd Ave between 4th and 6th

6BC Botanical Garden
6th St, Ave B-C

Eight B C D Block Association
8th St, Ave B-D

EVORA East Village Owners Renters Association
8th-12th St, 3rd-4th Ave

9th Street A-1 Block Association
9th St, Ave A-1st Ave

9BC Tompkins Sq Block Association
9th St, Ave B-C

La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez
9th St & Ave C

10th-Stuyvesant Streets Block Association
10th St, Stuyvesant, 2nd-3rd Ave

A1E 10th St Block Association
10th St, 1st Ave-Ave A

East 11th Street Block Association
11th St, 2nd-3rd Ave

North Avenue A Neighborhood Association
Ave A, 10th-14th St

12th Street Block Association
12th St, Ave A-B

Politicians

Rosie Mendez
Former Council Member

Carlina Rivera
Council Member

Brad Hoylman
State Senator

Harvey Epstein
State Representative

Gayle Brewer
Former Manhattan Borough President

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Mayer

Actors/Artists

Luis Guzman (CHARAS)
John Leguizamo (CHARAS)
Spike Lee (CHARAS)

Obstacles

Gregg Singer

Madison Realty Capital (Possibly not an op)
520 Madison Ave Suite 3501, New York, NY 10022
(1) 646-472-1900
www.madisonrealtycapital.com

The Christadora House +
83 units 16 stories

DARWIN RAMOS
Site Manager

SFC MGMT LLC
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
245 EAST 63RD STREET SUITE 1202
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10065

NICOLA BAKER
Head Officer
675 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

PATRICIA PETTWAY-BROWN
Agent
675 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

ANTHONY SALERNO
Officer
675 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

CHRISTADORA HOUSE
Corporation
675 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

 

DOUGLAS ELLIMAN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Corporation
675 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017

Keynotes

In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed interest in the city repurchasing the building. However, opposition has stated “This is a result of the de Blasio administration standing in the way of granting an ‘as of right’ building permit for a 535-bed affordable college student dormitory in the East Village,”. Adding, opposition has allegedly obtained written support from more than 1,600 community residents or 2.58% of total of the total residents.

The East Village is a demographically and socioeconomically diverse community. Out of approximately 63,347 residents, 50% are White, 25% are Hispanic or Latino, 13% are Asian, and 10% are African American. The neighborhood’s median household income of $57,104 is significantly lower than that of Manhattan ($82,459), but only slightly below that of New York City ($60,762). 

 In recent years, the increase of new, more affluent residents has raised fears of displacement for long-time minority and creative communities. Local organizations are working to protect the people, culture, and small businesses that make the neighborhood unique. DOB denied the developer’s application for a permit, because he “failed to submit sufficient proof that the building would be used as a student dormitory.” A local law requires proof of a 10-year lease from a college before approving dorm development.

A major community concern is the limited accessibility to avenues C & D. Due to the distance from the train, the majority of the Louisada (Alphabet City) businesses rely on local spenders. Priming and gentrifying real estate suffocates local businesses in this area. Because the attractions come from the west, a significantly small chance of money spenders travel east into avenues C & D. CHARAS solves this problem utilizing just a small percentage of the space.

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