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Activists to Rally at City Hall Against Dorm Plan for Abandoned School

By Allegra Hobbs | February 13, 2017 3:48pm
 A rendering depicting a plan by developer Gregg Singer to renovate the derelict P.S. 64 building.
A rendering depicting a plan by developer Gregg Singer to renovate the derelict P.S. 64 building.
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Singer Financial Corporation

EAST VILLAGE — A fight against plans to turn a derelict schoolhouse into college dorms will be taken to the steps of City Hall Tuesday.

Protesters are expected to gather at 2 p.m. to demand the city maintain an existing stop work order on the long-abandoned P.S. 64 site at 605 E. Ninth St. and reject developer Gregg Singer's bid to convert part of the building into dorms for Adelphi University students.

The group is calling on Mayor de Blasio to "be our Valentine" by denying city permits that would allow the project to move forward, according to a Facebook event page and flier for the rally.

Activists opposing the plan fear that allowing construction could allow Singer to skirt a deed restriction on the property requiring community facility use, pointing to the Rivington House fiasco as an example of the city's handling of deed restrictions going awry.

"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," said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Activists' ultimate goal is for the developer to give up the building altogether so it can become a "true community facility," Berman had previously told DNAinfo New York. 

Singer's attorney, however, has denied the developer has any intention of skirting the deed restriction.

Though the Department of Buildings had issued an approval for a previous plan for another university, the agency is still reviewing Adelphi's proposal. University representatives have asked the mayor to expedite the permits so the students can have their dorms by next fall.

The mayor's office has said any plan approved for the building will adhere to the deed restriction.