Dorm project upsets East Village residents

February 21, 2013 03:00PM

East Villagers are renewing their fight to have a vacant school in the neighborhood converted into low-income apartments or a community center — not a college dorm, the Local reported.

Last week, developer Gregg Singer filed paperwork with the Department of Buildings to turn the 110,000-square-foot property at 605 East 9th Street into university housing. Both New York University and the New School told the Local that they are not involved in the plans for former P.S. 64, which is a city landmark.

“The building was an arts and cultural center, and it really needs to be returned to that,” Carolyn Ratcliffe, a member of the Ninth Street Block Association, told the Local.

Ratcliffe, a former Community Board 3 member, questioned the intentions of Singer, who has owned the building since 1998.

“He has not been a good neighbor in the past,” she told the Local.

Singer and the project’s architect declined the Local’s request for comment; the developer has tried to convert the school into a dormitory before but backed off his plans because of neighborhood opposition.

Housing activist Frank Morales told the Local that he hopes the community can reclaim the building and transform it into homes for the city’s poor.

“The former P.S. 64 needs to be converted into low-income and affordable housing for those in need … as we are amidst a deep crisis in this city regarding the lack of accessible housing for poor and working-class people,” he said. [The Local]Zachary Kussin