Volume 79, Number 24 | November 18 - 24, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

‘Bad landlord’ rebuffed
A developer’s request for a zoning change along a sleepy stretch of Sullivan St. to allow for commercial use on the ground floor was unanimously voted down by Community Board 2’s Zoning and Housing Committee last week.

The application by Zaccaro Realty, which has developed an unfavorable reputation with some community advocates, seeks to extend an existing commercial overlay to include the property at 73-75 Sullivan St., between Spring and Broome Sts., permitting a large restaurant or bar on street level. The one-story building currently at the site, which houses a bakery and now-closed pasta maker, would be razed in order to construct a five-story residential structure with commercial use on the first floor, according to the owner’s plans.

“Not one person wanted it except Zaccaro, who’s filthy rich,” said committee member Sean Sweeney, who’s also director of the Soho Alliance, speaking of real estate developer John Zaccaro’s attempts to develop larger commercial operations on the otherwise residential, quiet, tree-lined block. “This is about one property owner wanting to screw other property owners on this block so this guy who owns tons of properties can make more money,” he added.

Sweeney explained that one of Zaccaro’s other properties formerly was home to The Falls bar on Lafayette St. in Soho, where graduate student Imette St. Guillen had been partying before a bouncer there abducted and murdered her in 2006. The same space now houses the Midnight Café, which Sweeney claimed has operated illegally by selling hard booze without a full liquor license, and even forced one 10-year tenant living behind the establishment to move out due to noise. He added that Zaccaro’s attorney did not disagree with the committee when it asked if the insistence on a commercial designation was motivated purely by profit.

“Why should we give this guy a break?” Sweeney continued. “He was being pushy, and hopefully City Planning is going to realize this. He’s been a bad landlord, a bad community member.”

Zaccaro is married to Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Superdive going down?
Frat-boy concept bar and newest scourge of the East Village Superdive, whose signature beer-by-the-keg and mix-your-own-drinks features are either the most innovative or tragic developments in nightlife history, has gone up for sale only four months after opening.

The Avenue A hotspot, which has packed in crowds and riled neighborhood residents since its summertime debut, is currently selling for $350,000 with asking rent at $10,000 per month under a 10-year lease.

The trendy tavern is located in the space formerly occupied by the L.G.B.T.-friendly Rapture Café and Books between 12th and 13th Sts., and comes with a full liquor license and 4 a.m. closing hours. The blog Eater first reported the news, speculating that the owners could simply be testing the market to see how much they could pull in for the space. In a response to the report, the proprietors noted that the bar “will never close” and “will live forever,” and that the brand is looking to expand both locally and nationally.

Superdive sits among a cluster of bars on upper Avenue A, including Forbidden City, outside of which bouncer Eric “Taz” Pagan was shot and killed in August.

mixeduse@communitymediallc.com

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