Old P.S. 64 CHARAS / El Bohio News

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Town Hall, October 12, 2017:

I understand now that there’s been, for over a decade-and-a-half, a controversy and a problem over the CHARAS building, and that the decision made a long time ago by the Giuliani administration was a mistake.
For the Giuliani administration to put that building into private hands failed miserably, and we’ve seen the negative effect that that has had on the community.
So I’m announcing tonight, the City’s interest in reacquiring that building.
We are ready to right the wrongs of the past, and we will work with Council Member Mendez and her successor to get that done.

A thrill went through the Town Hall crowd that heard these words, and nothing can diminish the value of the Mayor’s public recognition of the truth.

The East Village Community Coalition looks forward to working with the Mayor’s office, Council Member Mendez and her successor, Community Board 3, CHARAS, GVSHP, our coalition partners and our neighbors to see this cherished landmark returned to true community use.

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Old P.S. 64/CHARAS – Time for a Change – Sign THIS Petition

For two decades, Old P.S. 64 has lain fallow and allowed to deteriorate, when it could have been serving our community.

We all agree it’s time for  change! So let’s get serious and ask the Mayor again to restore our treasure and return it to community use. Start by signing THIS petition.

Read carefully when asked to sign a petition, because there are two! THIS is the one you want to sign to support the return of Old P.S. 64 as a true community facility!

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Mayor De Blasio, give us back our community center!

Stay tuned for news about opportunities to help showcase the rich history of old P.S. 64 and celebrate what it could be today!

432 E. 14th St – Update: Developer Withdraws Revised Plan

432 E. 14th Victory

Developer Withdraws Revised Plan!

Today the developers of 432 E.14th Street, withdrew their revised application. After strong community opposition, the BSA rejected the initial application was for variance to build 50% (four floors) higher than our zoning allows. The revised application still requested an additional floor, but with your support
432e14th_Victory_NoVariance
Left: Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office. Center: Height allowed (8 stories). Right: Height requested 12 stories).

Compare the heights above. Compliance is 8 stories. Proposed is 12. Like the EVCC, our colleagues in preservation, ommunity Board 3, and many residents, we believe you will agree that this building is oversized and way out of scale. We worked hard to get  special zoning put in place — to prevent exactly this. We need your voice. Tell the BSA we stand behind our zoning.


Testify at the BSA Hearing on January 24th
BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall at 1pm

We believe the developers claims “hardship” because of “unique circumstances” are bogus. Do not let them get away with cramming an oversized building into a space where it doesn’t belong just because it is on 14th Street. The back of the building goes through to 13th Street and will be very visible, have widespread effects and sets a bad precedent. We must stand up to this encroachment and uphold our zoning.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • EMAIL THE BOARD OF STANDARDS AND APPEALS via this form. URGE THEM TO REJECT THE VARIANCE!
  • TESTIFY AT THE BSA HEARING – January 24th at 1pm – BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall.
  • FORWARD BY EMAIL or PRINT OUT  this flyer and post it in your lobby or community center, distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.

Old PS 64 💌 Rally & Press Conference – Tuesday, 2/14, 2pm

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Join elected officials, community organizations and activists to ask Mayor de Blasio to be our Valentine and give us back our Community Center former CHARAS El Bohio, P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street!

Artists, dancers, actors, musicians, residents, community not-for-profit orgs. & service providers. Come as your favorite cultural or community resource, or come as you are!


What can you do?

  • Come to the Rally and Press Conference about saving Old P.S. 64/Charas-El Bohio on Tuesday, 2/14, 2pm — Steps of City Hall
    💌 RSVP, invite your friends, like and share the Facebook invite to the Rally
  • Come to MORUS for Sign Painting 
    Sunday, February 12th from 3:30pm to 7:30pm
    Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, 155 Avenue C
    💌 RSVP, invite your friends, like and share the Facebook invite to the Rally
  • Print out  the Valentine’s Rally flyer and distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.
    💌 Ask your favorite businesses to post it in their window.
  • Write Mayor de Blasio! 
    💌 Urge him to reverse the Department of Buildings’ ruling and not allow a phony “dorm for hire” to go into old P.S. 64.


    Brief history:

    In 2005 community members, organizations and elected officials joined to get Old P.S. 64 landmarked and the City limits uses here to “community facilities.” As the developer tried repeatedly to get around the the usage restriction by making it a “dorm for hire,” so our community allies asked the City to tighten up the dorm rules.

    The developer owner is trying yet again to sneak around these tighter rules and has hired the same lobbyist involved in the scandalous lifting of the deed restriction for the nearby Rivington House! And what’s worse is now it’s the DoB breaking it’s own rules! That has terrible implications, not just for our beloved CHARAS El Bohio, but for endangered, culturally significant buildings across the City. 

    💌Mayor de Blasio, have a heart and put a stop to this!💌

    Read more on recent happenings at The Villager and at GVSHP or find a full history here.

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432 E. 14th St. TOWER – 1/24 OPPOSE Variance Application!

NO Taller than Zoning Allows!

Tuesday Jan. 24th at 1pm – Testify at the BSA Hearing!

The developers of 432 E.14th Street have applied to The Board of Standards and Appeals for variance to build higher than our zoning allows — 50% (four floors) higher!

432e14th_OpposeVariance
Left: Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office. Center: Height allowed (8 stories). Right: Height requested 12 stories).

Compare the heights above. Compliance is 8 stories. Proposed is 12. Like the EVCC, our colleagues in preservation, Community Board 3, and many residents, we believe you will agree that this building is oversized and way out of scale. We worked hard to get  special zoning put in place — to prevent exactly this. We need your voice. Tell the BSA we stand behind our zoning.


Testify at the BSA Hearing on January 24th
BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall at 1pm

We believe the developers claims “hardship” because of “unique circumstances” are bogus. Do not let them get away with cramming an oversized building into a space where it doesn’t belong just because it is on 14th Street. The back of the building goes through to 13th Street and will be very visible, have widespread effects and sets a bad precedent. We must stand up to this encroachment and uphold our zoning.

************

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • EMAIL THE BOARD OF STANDARDS AND APPEALS via this form. URGE THEM TO REJECT THE VARIANCE!
  • TESTIFY AT THE BSA HEARING – January 24th at 1pm – BSA hearing room, 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall.
  • FORWARD BY EMAIL or PRINT OUT  this flyer and post it in your lobby or community center, distribute to friends, neighbors, local businesses.

 

General Slocum Walking Tour 6/15

On June 15, join Greenwich Village Society For Historic PreservationLower East Side Preservation Initiative, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic DistrictsSouth Bronx Unite and Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione for a walking tour to learn more about the General Slocum tragedy. The walking tour will conclude at German restaurant Zum Schneider.

Ship Abalze by Edward T. O’Donnell.

Ship Ablaze by Edward T. O’Donnell.

Slocum Memorial Fountain, Tompkins Square Park.

Slocum Memorial Fountain, Tompkins Square Park.

EVCC’s Annual Fundraiser: Spaces Old and New – Early Bird Tickets!

Please join us at our fundraiser celebrating our East Village independent businesses!

Spaces Old and New
Wednesday May 11th, 7-10 pm
Housing Works Roof Top
43 E 9th Street

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End of 2015 Gratitude and Appeal from EVCC

 

Support EVCC in 2016

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Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for your support in preserving the East Village!  

2015 tested our neighborhood on many fronts. You stood firm with us, again, to protect our unique buildings and local businesses from disaster and developers. We are grateful for your courage and commitment and your many individual actions — writing letters, making calls, attending events, staying informed, and giving time and resources.

We ask you to continue this important work with us into 2016 by making a year-end donation. Your support today helps us increase our impact to preserve the built and cultural character of the East Village. Consider including community activism in your resolutions! Email or tweet us to pledge an hour or more of your time in 2016.

Make your fully tax-deductible contributionbefore the new year!

Here’s just some of what EVCC accomplished this year:

  • PRODUCED The 9th Edition of the GET LOCAL! GUIDE to East Village Shops, a vital tool that educates our neighbors about the importance of supporting local merchants.
  • ORGANIZED the second Annual Holiday Shopping event to showcase a dozen and a half East Village stores with one-day to month-long promotions — perfect gifts right in the neighborhood.
  • ENABLED the East Village Independent Merchants Association to create the East Village Loves Campaign to promote small, independent businesses.
  • WORKED with preservation groups and neighbors to protect and celebrate important local landmarks and to recognize East Village cultural sites.
  • COLLABORATED with the Community Board 3 and local Block Associations to strike a balance between nightlife establishments and daytime retail that supports the needs of local residents.
  • FILED an official Appeal to issue a stop work order for unpermitted work on CHARAS/ El Bohio PS 64.
  • ACTED to halt or reverse illegal construction and overbuilding in several East Village locations.
  • SPONSORED the LES Pee Wee League, a fee-free baseball program for local youth ages 4-16.

What you can do now:

  • OPPOSE ZQA by testifying at the City Planning Commission public hearing on Wednesday, 12/16 starting at 9 am at the Museum of the American Indian, Broadway and Bowling Green near Battery Park.
  • FUN TIP: Use EVCC’s  Get Local! Guide and find the perfect last-minute gifts right in the neighborhood!

Your support helps us advocate for historic preservation, retail protections, street safety, and local businesses in 2015.  Give today!

Best Wishes,


Carol Crump

Acting Managing Director

            

Building and Branding Your Website: A web development workshop for East Village Merchants

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Ever wondered what should go on your website? Or how to create an online brand? The East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) is organizing a workshop with WiX.com, a website building company, to answer these very questions. In this workshop, we invite local merchants to learn how to create a website and market their business’ brand online.

There are two opportunities to attend this workshop:
Tuesday, April 22 at 10am – RSVP here
Monday, April 28 at 7pm – RSVP here

About WiX

Wix.com enables you to build a free and professional online presence, just the way you want it. With an HTML5 drag-and-drop website editor, 100s of web apps, designer-made templates, and tons of features, Wix gives you the tools to launch and manage your online presence. To learn more, please visit www.wix.com.

In NYC, Wix also offers the Wix Lounge, a completely free co-working, event and exhibit space for professionals. Grab your laptop, pop into the Lounge and enjoy a productive work day, great networking opportunities, and amazing events. The Wix Lounge provides free Wix support to NewYork-ers, giving them the tools and tips for successfully launching and managing their businesses’ online presence.

 

If you have questions or would like more information about this workshop, please contact Amy Parker, EVCC’s Business Outreach Coordinator, via email (amy@evccnyc.org) or phone (212-979-2344).

Zoning for Local Businesses

By supporting Formula Retail Zoning, the EVCC tries to keep our neighborhood free from chains

Earlier this summer, on June 12, the Graduate Cener for Planning and the Environment  at Pratt Institute had some good news for the Lower East Side.  In a presentation at St. Mark’s Church for the Neighborhood Presentation Center, the Pratt Group discussed the first draft of a study that provides a comprehensive plan to encourage small local businesses on the Lower East Side and discourage large chains.

The primary recommendation of the study, lead by Professors Vicki Weiner and Jonathan Martin, is for the East veilfalls_cropVillage to seek designation as a “special district.”  This would allow the area to enforce Formula Retail Zoning — which is an imposing name for a system that sets some limits on the types of businesses in an area in order to preserve the local retail environment. The study, which was commissioned by the EVCC, is one of the most comprehensive investigations into Formula Retail Zoning in New York City’s history.

The EVCC’s goal is to present the study, when it is completed later this year, to locally elected politicians, city planning commissioners, and the Mayors office and help them understand why the “special district” designation is so important for the future of the neighborhood.

As part of that process, videographer Nicholas Whitaker (who did such a great job with his video chronicle of the first Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade in 2007) has been asked by the EVCC to make a film that demonstrates the way local merchants improve street life.  For instance, he will contrast vibrant streets full of local merchants — like East 9th Street — with “dead zones” where chains have invaded, like the stretch of Houston where Whole Foods has generated a wall of glass that discourages community-style street life.  The film, which will be shot this fall, will be ready for presentation to authorities by the end of this year.

As the EVCC gets closer to making an official presentation of a plan, community support will be needed.  If you have thoughts about the value of Formula Retail Zoning, please log-in or register in the left hand column of this page, and post your thoughts below.

East Village Community Coalition
143 Avenue B - Simplex
New York, NY 10009
212-979-2344