Foreclosure Ordered for East Village’s Former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Community Center as Neighborhood Demands Landmarked Building’s Return

The former P.S. 64 on East 9th Street (left), and Village Preservation East Village Director Juan Rivero speaking at the CHARAS rally on December 17

Christmas and New Year’s came a little early this year for those involved in the nearly quarter-century fight to see the East Village’s landmarked former P.S. 64/CHARAS-El Bohio Community Center at 605 East 9th Street (Ave B/C) finally restored and returned to community use. Nearly 25 years ago, in 1998, Mayor Giuliani auctioned off the historic community resource to unscrupulous developer Gregg Singer, and almost exactly 21 years ago, on December 27, 2001, CHARAS/El Bohio were evicted from the space they had occupied and turned into an indispensable community and cultural center for decades.

In early December 2022, developer Singer finally lost his lawsuit against us claiming our work to keep him from destroying the building and placing illegal uses there violated his rights and was part of a conspiracy. On December 17 we joined our friends and allies for a rally outside the building calling upon the city to finally return it to community use (as Mayor de Blasio promised when running for re-election in 2017, and then never lifted a finger to do). And then just a few days later, just before Christmas Eve, a judge ruled Singer was in foreclose on the property and that it must be auctioned again. Read coverage in The Village Voice and The Village Sun.

This is a tremendous opportunity for the City to finally intervene and return the building to a much-needed community use. Village Preservation is working with allied groups to ensure that’s exactly what happens now that the building appears to finally be wrested from Mr. Singer’s hands. 

January 6, 2023