Ashkenazy blames homeless in bid to develop public space

Developer wants to turn Lincoln Square atrium into retail
October 20, 2014 01:59PM

Ben Ashkenazy’s Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation proposed converting an atrium at the base of the Bel-Canto condominium building in Lincoln Square into a retail space, arguing that it is now overrun by homeless people.

Community Board 7 members criticized the request to convert the 1,600-square-foot atrium at 1991 Broadway back to private use. The developer also said it would help fund a renovation of The Broadway malls from West 70th to 110th streets.

The board said the proposed deal is unfair because homeless people’s use of the public space should not lead to it being shut down.

When the 75-unit condo property was built in 1985, the sponsor at the time acquired more square footage by agreeing to donate the public space to the community in perpetuity, DNAinfo said. Ashkenazy, which acquired the site last year, did not comment to the website.

The atrium was formerly the site of Ollie’s Noodle Shop, which closed last year after a fire. The developer has been seeking a new tenant for the space. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer