Gregg Singer places East Village landmark P.S. 64 in $100M bankruptcy
Developer Gregg Singer placed the East Village landmarked building at 605 East 9th Street, the former elementary school P.S. 64, into bankruptcy protection two months after a Manhattan state supreme court judge ordered a foreclosure sale of the property. Singer claimed the five-story building has assets and liabilities both above $100 million, and that there would be funds to make payments to the more than two dozen creditors. Madison Realty Capital filed the pre-foreclosure action in 2018 [850273/2018] that triggered the foreclosure sale, only two years after giving Singer a $44 million loan secured by the property.
The bankruptcy filing halts the planned auction and transfers the litigation to the bankruptcy court.
As of a February 2022 referee’s report, the property had debts of $89.98 million.
Singer’s move to protect his ownership of the building is part of an extensive involvement of the courts over the years, as Singer’s attempts to redevelop the property he purchased in 1999 for $3.15 million have been frustrated again and again.
Singer acquired the building through a 1998 public auction, two decades after the school closed in 1977. The sale included a deed restriction that required the building to be occupied as a community facility use. According to a history of the building, in 2004 he submitted plans to increase it from five stories to 19 stories with 222 dormitories, and the plan included demolishing a portion of the building, but the city’s Department of Buildings rejected that plan. He took the city to court, but lost in 2008. Meanwhile, in June 2006, the city designated the building a landmark, further regulating how the property could be redeveloped. The building became a political “hot potato” by 2007, as the New York Times reported at the time.
In 2013 Singer filed new construction plans, this time only to renovate the existing structure as a 174-unit dormitory, with the tenants expected to be students from the Cooper Union and Joffrey Ballet, but they terminated their leases in 2016. Then, Singer signed a lease with Adelphi University, but it also terminated its lease.
Late last year EV Grieve, which has reported extensively on the building, reported that Singer put the property on the market for sale or lease.
Direct link to the property’s ACRIS page and link to DOB NOW portal.