Mars Bar developer comes full circle in EV

July 18, 2011 04:38PM

The razing
of the Mars Bar for a glassy condominium
is the latest sign of
gentrification in the East Village, and as Local East Village notes, it’s being
carried out by the man who helped kick off the process more than a decade ago. Donald
, the head of BFC Partners, is replacing the gritty bar and housing
that rises two stories above it with a 60-unit apartment building at 11-17
Second Avenue, on the corner of East 1st Street.

Thanks to his commitment to include affordable housing, Capoccia got unanimous
support for the project from Community Board 3 and the backing of city
agencies. That’s a far cry from his relationship with the community in 1999,
after Capoccia bulldozed a community garden at Avenue C between 7th and 8th
streets for his Eastville Gardens project. Residents rioted at the site and
injured seven police officers after it was destroyed, the Local East Village reported.

He began his career developing in the East Village in 1985, and has since completed 13 projects in the neighborhood, co-founded
the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, and incorporated
affordable housing into many of his projects, including the forthcoming
building at 11-17 Second Avenue, which will have 13 such units. [Local EV]