The controversy started many years ago when the organization continued to do nothing with the building for decades. As last week's Times article points out, the city did not chase the club for back taxes from not using the building for non-profit purposes all these years because “contemplated use”of the building placed it in a category that was tax-exempt. Also pointed out in the New York Times is that the community is divided by whether to restore the building or to demolish it completely-nothing in between: LINK. Even though the CB9 Landmarks Committee advised that the building received landmark designation last year, the CB9 Executive Board vetoed the vote for no apparent reason. There is a brand new board voted in as of this past June so the preservationist will once more try to have landmarking up for review.
The Times article failed to point out that there exists several other proposals that would restore the current building and add condos to subsidize the development (one of the sketches can be found in our past post): LINK. The Boys and Girls Club have stated that condos are not selling when PS90 (the restored school condo conversion on 148th) was brought up in past meetings as an adaptive reuse option, but that apparently is no longer a viable argument. Now the point of debate against restoring the school is that it is not financially feasible. Revealed now in the current articles on the proposed new construction is that the project will cost $79 million, which compared to PS90's restoration budget of $40 million, is basically double the cost: LINK
A concise City Limits article from June points out the 25 year, non-profit use deed restriction expiration date on P.S. 186 will be up in January 2011 and that the Boys and Girls Club will have the option to do whatever they want with the property alongside the highest bidder at that point in time: LINK. Read our past post on the fight to save P.S. 186: LINK. Photo by Ulysses