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Report: Developer Gregg Singer says Mayor de Blasio lied about city's P.S. 64 outreach

Report: Developer Gregg Singer says Mayor de Blasio lied about city’s P.S. 64 outreach
During a recent media roundtable at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Mayor de Blasio said that Gregg Singer, who owns the former P.S. 64 on Ninth Street, “has been exceedingly uncooperative” about selling the building back to the city, as The Villager reported.However, Singer told Patch that he hasn’t heard from anyone at the mayor’s office about the property he bought in a city auction in 1998. Some background: During a town hall forum at P.S. 188 last October, de Blasio said that the Giuliani administration should not have auctioned off the property, and that he would work to “right the wrongs of the past,” as DNAifno reported.”For the administration to put that building into private hands failed miserably, and we’ve seen the negative affect that that has had on the community. So I’m announcing tonight the city’s interest in re-acquiring that building,” de Blasio said, eliciting cheers from the audience.And during the media roundtable on Aug. 23, de Blasio said the following, as reported by The Villager:“We’ve tried to have a productive conversation about purchase,” he said. “We’ve gotten nowhere so far. We’re not giving up. We’re working very closely with the councilmember, Carlina Rivera. I’m very frustrated with that owner.”Eminent domain, though it may not be an immediate option, is “certainly something I want to know more about, but I had hoped the best solution here would be a direct purchase,” de Blasio explained. “That’s not off the table. It’s just we’re just not getting any cooperation so far.”And as Patch reported last Friday afternoon:”When I read the report that Mayor de Blasio told the media that I had been ‘exceedingly uncooperative,’ I was astonished at the brazenness of the mayor’s lie,” Singer told Patch.”I know that politicians are not known for their strict adherence to the truth, but when someone like the mayor can claim to be frustrated because I have been uncooperative when I have not received a single email or phone call from him or anyone in his office is simply unbelievable.”Singer challenged the mayor’s office to produce email and phone logs that the city has reached out to him.Singer has said that he has no intention of selling the building, which he bought for $3.15 million. He wants to turn the landmarked property into a dorm called University Square, which continues in a holding pattern while the DOB maintains a Stop Work Order on the building. In years past several local elected officials, community activists and residents have asked for the return of the building at 605 E. Ninth St. Avenue B and Avenue C for community use. The building became a community center after the school left in 1977. The group was evicted when Singer took over as the landlord.Previously on Ev Grieve:The Times explores the past, present and future of the former P.S. 64

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