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D.G. word to O.W.S.
Local elected officials, to varying degrees, tried to defend Occupy Wall Street’s encampment in Zuccotti Park from eviction by Mayor Bloomberg, but failed. Desperately scrambling to find a new home, O.W.S. is now focusing on the Trinity Real Estate-owned open lot at Canal St. and Sixth Ave. So, are any local politicians endorsing the idea of a new occupation at that spot? Defending is one thing, but offering an invitation — “Yo, I got your occupy right here!” — is perhaps another. We asked Assemblymember Deborah Glick for her thoughts since Trinity’s Duarte Square space is, in fact, in her district. She prefaced her comments by saying, “I support the notion that there has to be a resolution to the growing income equality — which is what I’ve been speaking about for years. And I think they’ve done an incredible job speaking about it. I think they, in a very short amount of time, got a national and international discourse going,” she said of O.W.S. The Zuccotti Park encampment was located in the district of the powerful Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver. Glick was not on the front lines calling for O.W.S.’s tent city to be allowed to stay there. “It was not my district. I was agnostic as to how it should proceed,” she said. Asked whether she would welcome an O.W.S.-palooza-style encampment at Duarte Square, she said, “I’m not sure that you utilize the same tactics going forward. But it’s not up to me to tell a leaderless group what to do.” But then she reiterated, “They may want to think about different tactics.” … F.Y.I., police are now posting a police car or van outside the “LentSpace” fenced-in lot at Duarte Square that O.W.S. covets. On Sun., Nov. 20, 200 members of the group marched from Judson Church down to the Canal St. lot and held a candlelight vigil, begging Trinity to let them use it.
Singer makes an offer:
Gregg Singer does still exist — “unfortunately,” many readers will no doubt think. We hadn’t heard from him in a while, despite our efforts to reach him, so we were seriously wondering. Following the recent strategizing meeting about trying to get a community center restored in the old P.S. 64 building on E. Ninth St. near Avenue B, one of the meeting’s participants, Steve Sinclair, resolved to personally reach out to the embattled developer and see if he was willing to negotiate. As Sinclair tells it, the two met at the decommissioned school building on Wednesday afternoon and had a sit-down in a pseudo-swanky meeting space Singer has constructed with sheetrock walls and hardwood floors in the building’s front. Singer was sporting a “funky” jacket, sort of a safari jacket, according to Sinclair. Basically, Sinclair said, Singer told him he’s been trying to rent out the building for use as university dormitory space, but that Councilmember Rosie Mendez and the community have been frustrating all his efforts, scaring everyone off. The landmarked building has a total of 152,000 square feet, 111,000 of which is usable space. At the brainstorming meeting two weeks ago, former squatter Eric Rassi pitched a “rudimentary proposal” under which they would ask Singer to cede the building’s two lower floors for use as a community center on the ground floor, plus a hub for up to 25 nonprofit tenants on the second floor. Two floors would equal about 40,000 square feet, according to Sinclair. Instead, Sinclair said, the idea that Singer likes would be to give from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet — something like 5 percent to 10 percent of the total space — for use as a community center, while giving a 99-year lease to Baruch College to redevelop the rest of the building as a student dorm. “The average Soho loft is 2,000 square feet,” Sinclair noted. “Six thousand square feet would be enough for meeting rooms, rehearsal space, daycare.” More than that isn’t needed, he said. “I don’t think Eric understands how big this place is,” Sinclair said. “If he got one floor, that’s 20,000 square feet. That’s like a Walmart. You don’t need that amount of space for a community center. It seems to me, 7,000 or 10,000 square feet — something in that range. Twenty thousand square feet is good for indoor soccer.” Sinclair said Singer definitely wants a dorm because that’s the “highest use” for the building, as in highest amount of moolah. It would take about $37.5 million to build out the dorm space with up to 500 beds, Sinclair said the developer explained to him. The community center would be built out as a plain white space to beA further developed as the community wished. Continuing on his D.I.Y. mission, Sinclair’s plan was next to call Matthew Goldstein, CUNY’s president, on Thursday and propose the idea. Asked how Singer feels about having had all his schemes for the building repeatedly stymied by the community for more than 12 years, Sinclair said, “He’s very bitter about it. He has a somewhat Marie Antoinette attitude about it — “Let them eat cake” — because he is the owner and owners in this country have some rights.” So, who is Sinclair? you ask. He moved onto 10th St. across from the old P.S. 64 three months ago. He’s currently a financial adviser for Wells Fargo and previously had a record label, Mechanic Records, specializing in hardcore and heavy metal bands. He signed the likes of Megadeath, Agnostic Front, Voivod, Dream Theater, Ludachrist and Scalp the Landmarked Building. (Just kidding, but that’s what Singer did to the old P.S. 64 when he brutally lopped off its beautiful ornamentation.) He’s also the president of the Progress Republican Club, which he noted is the nation’s oldest Republican club. “I’d be really happy to break this impasse,” Sinclair told us. “That building is an eyesore every time I walk past it.” We told Mendez about Sinclair’s meeting with Singer and this purportedly new plan, but she said, “This is the same plan Gregg Singer pitched to me in 2006. He wanted to do luxury housing. He wanted to lift the deed restrictions [for community-use facility] and/or do a dorm. The community doesn’t want a dorm,” Mendez stressed, saying he should change his tack. “Singer can move forward on certain things. I know people have offered him a significant amount of money to buy the building, but he’s not being realistic about that. When you’re asking for $70 million, a lot of people are going to walk away.”
In last week’s issue, the article “Soho Journal publisher guilty in S&M mortgage scam” stated that Donald MacPherson would be spending his four-to-12-year prison term at Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, N.Y. However, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County district attorney, the former Community Board 2 member could go to Downstate and stay there, or possibly be transferred to another prison. “He goes to Downstate, then it’s up to the State Department of Corrections as to where to place him,” Clifford said. “He’ll likely be transferred to another facility, but there’s no way of telling at this point.” We’re assuming, though, that wherever it is, it will be behind steel bars.