City Issues Dorm Permits for Former PS 64/Charas-El Bohio in East Village, Breaking Own Rules
We are disappointed to report that the NYC Department of Buildings issued permits for a new 'dormitory' at the old PS 64/Charas-El Bohio Cultural Center at 605 East 9th Street (Avenues A/B) over the objections of GVSHP and many community groups, elected officials, and the local community board. Perhaps most disturbingly, the permits seem to have been issued in violation of the City's own rules regarding student dormitories -- rules passed several years ago after significant agitation by community groups and elected officials to prevent more developers from claiming to include dormitories in developments just to get permits to build.
But last week, in spite of these strict new rules, the City issued permits for the conversion of much of this landmarked building to a dormitory, supposedly for use by Cooper Union and the Joffrey Ballet. However, the terms of the arrangement do not appear to meet the standards for a long-term lease or for an accredited educational institution. Additionally, it has long been the wishes of the community to see this building -- which served as a public school before being converted into the revered Charas-El Bohio Cultural Center -- returned to a true community use. Mayor Giuliani closed the cultural center and sold the building to a developer more than a decade ago, and it has sat in limbo as the developer first sought to demolish it (thwarted by the building being given landmark status) and replace it with successive plans for dorm developments.
GVSHP is working closely with a coalition of community groups, elected officials, and the community board to oppose the City's decision, uphold our hard-fought-for dorm rules, and see the building returned to a true community use.
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