New York developer Gregg Singer’s plans to convert an old Manhattan public school building into a college dormitory have gotten a big boost with the approval of New York’s Department of Buildings. Such approval was required for the project to move forward as it is planned for a landmarked building.
Located in Alphabet City at 605 East 9th Street near Tompkins Square Park, the former P.S. 64 is a beautiful six story red and white trimmed brick building with two wings that run perpendicular to its center. It has 152, 000 square feet of space.
The project, designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP, will have housing for 535 students from participating area colleges, such as Cooper Union and the West Village’s Joffrey Ballet School.
The new dormitory will offer the latest in fire/life safety & smart security with 24 hour personnel, a residence life program tailored to schools preferences, a health center operated by Beth Israel Medical Center Fitness Center, a game room with video wall, pool, ping pong and foosball tables, a resident lounge with theatre/media/gaming, group and private study computer rooms (wireless & hard wired internet), private music practice rooms, yoga studios and an art studio with spray hood.
There will also be a landscaped outdoor courtyard and terrace areas, wireless internet throughout the building and it will meet the standards of sustainable buildings and LEED principles. The first four floors are already taken, leaving the top two floors available for other schools to use.
Singer bought the property for $3.15 million back in 1998 in an auction. But his plans for the site have long been delayed due to local opposition to changes in the landmarked building. Last year the East Village’s Community Board 3 formally petitioned the mayor’s office to have the building returned to the community. They asked in their petition that the city do so by requiring it and then turning the property over to a nonprofit.
They had also hoped to prevent the dormitory project and instead see 605 East 9th Street turned into a community center or low income housing.