City weighs reno or demolition of Bronx’s historic P.S. 31

Phillip Morrow and 75 Meserole Avenue
Phillip Morrow and 75 Meserole Avenue

The city has vowed to tear down the dilapidated, landmarked P.S. 31 building in Concourse, Bronx. That is, unless economic development agency SoBRO and Minneapolis nonprofit developer Artspace provides concrete plans next month for a conversion to affordable housing.

The project would turn the vacant school at 75 Meserole Avenue into 60 apartments for low-income artists and public space for galleries and art classes.

At a Community Board 1 meeting in June, Department of Buildings engineer Timothy Lynch deemed the building dangerously unstable in the months after Hurricane Sandy hit. After the school closed in 1997, the roof partially collapsed and the basement flooded.

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Phillip Morrow, president of SoBRO, told DNAinfo it is “total nonsense” that the building can survive only a few more months.

Morrow said SoBRO has plan that includes historic-building and low-income-housing tax credits as well as financing through Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. DNAinfo said. A Goldman spokeswoman told the publication the bank is “interested in investing in the project if the city approves it.”

Morrow insisted the issue is not money — the renovation would cost tens of millions, according to DNAinfo — but “political will.” [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer

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