But a contentious legal battle ensued between Singer and the de Blasio administration, which Singer says in court documents blocked his attempts to repurpose the building to wealthy Democratic donor and backer Aaron. Sosnick. His view of the penthouse would have been blocked by the planned dormitory. Singer also alleged that Sosnick manipulated the plans because he wanted the building for himself, which the financier has denied in court documents. The case is ongoing.

Singer also claimed in court papers that the city interfered in negotiations he was conducting with potential tenants such as Cooper Union and Adelphi University by never telling him that the Buildings Department had already approved the properties. dormitory plans and leases in 2016.

He also alleged that the city planned to take over the property. In 2017, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city was interested in purchasing the property, although a deal was never reached, prompting community members to call him for breaking his promise. Partially redacted emails between Sosnick, city council members and Dentons lawyer Tim Plunkett show conversations about halting development of the building and how council involvement could help prevent that.

“I believe part of our argument isn’t just about having kids running amok in the neighborhood, it’s also about changing the character of the building that’s in our community,” Plunkett wrote at Sosnick in a June 2016 email.

But the city and Sosnick claimed in their responses to Singer’s allegations that he was trying to use the building for something zoning laws prohibit and is trying to force its conversion into a dormitory through legal action.

In the meantime, the building was reportedly used to host parties and serve as a backdrop for young people to take selfies. It’s also riddled with broken glass and the smell of urine, a New York Post reports the photographer.

Now the destroyed 152,000 square foot property is for sale or rent, EVGrieve first reported and marketed for medical, office or educational use. “The historic redevelopment and restoration of this century-old landmark, a former New York elementary school, can be transformed into a variety of modern, amenity-rich opportunities, including student dormitories,” the marketing materials state.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had expressed interest in marking the property while in office.

In 2016, Singer took out a mortgage from Madison Realty Capital, which sought foreclosure on the property after the landlord missed a mortgage payment, marking the third time the building faced foreclosure while Singer waited building permits and approvals.

In February, a judge ruled the lender could go ahead with the foreclosure suit, although it was unclear whether it would go ahead.


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