During the 2016 Maspeth shelter fight, we promised the people of Maspeth that their unused donations would be used for beautification efforts such as graffiti and litter removal and tree pit care. Organizers weren’t sure after the hotel was vacated if the DHS was going to try to open another shelter in the area, so the funds were held in case of emergency. But now that 5 years have passed it seems like the right time to start using the leftover funds for their promised purpose.
Citizens for a Better Maspeth started purchasing paint and equipment for Assembly Member Barnwell’s community cleanups which take place every Sunday. Along with organizer David Rosasco and a group of volunteer youths, including missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Brian is tending to areas that need sprucing up. Weed trimmers, trash bags, gloves, paint sprayers and paint in a palette of col- ors are some of the supplies that are being purchased with the more than $42,000 remaining from the fight.
Last year, Council Member Holden submitted a proposal for a District 75 special needs school at 78-16 Cooper Ave believing that not only was School Construction Authority Commissioner Lorraine Grillo in favor of the site for a new school, but she also wanted to close PS9, a District 75 School in Maspeth, despite it being in the middle of a $14M renovation. The Council Member also stated at Juniper Park Civic Association's October 2018 meeting that a deal to build a new school at Cooper Ave was 90 percent done, and that he was just waiting on one signature, that of Mayor de Blasio, for the project to start the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process. But this month Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza dropped a bomb via a letter to Holden, stating that after having visited PS9 he decided that it would remain where it is and that DOE would spend an additional $16M to make it more handicapped accessible, provide a total renovation of the basement and build new music, sensory, and computer rooms. CBM is in favor of schools at both locations because we need more school space in general, especially in District 24. Holden continues to search for a location for a new D75 school.
(Historic photo shows PS9 when it was PS86, circa 1920.)
The Holiday Inn Express, located at 59-40 55th Road in Maspeth, has been vacated by the NYC Department of Homeless Services and Acacia Network. There had been up to 200 homeless single men housed at the hotel since 2016.
You can read more here. Victory at last!
In early May, the New York Supreme Court issued a blow to New Ram Realty, (aka Harshad Patel, et al) by siding with the landlord of the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express (KCM Realty Company), located at 59-40 55 Road, in declaring that New Ram's arrangement with the NYC Department of Homeless Services and Acacia Network violated the terms of their land lease. The court:
The lease is a privately recorded transaction, so we cannot tell you what “remedies” are listed in it, but there are land leases that allow for property seizure in the case of breach of contract. Let’s hope this is one of them.
Citizens for a Better Maspeth, the organization that fundraised in an effort to fight the proposed shelter and filed a partially successful Article 78, is now consulting with attorneys to determine if any action could be taken on its part to hasten a vacate of the hotel by the City and Acacia. New Ram has filed an appeal.
There is now a proposal to swap a Maspeth school located at PS9 on 57th Street for a shelter proposed at 78-16 Cooper Ave in Glendale. PS9 was formerly PS86 which many older Maspeth residents attended in their youth. The school is now a special needs facility in District 75. Council Member Robert Holden wants a state of the art school built at Cooper Ave for special education students and expects PS9 students to be relocated there. He has confirmed that the DHS would like to convert PS9's school building into a shelter. CBM still has $42,221.64 left from the fundraising push to stop the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express, and will be allocating it as necessary to stop a shelter at PS9.
The following letters were recently submitted to the judge in the matter of KCM Realty, LLP vs. New Ram Realty, LLC:
712807 2016 Kcm Realty Comp... by on Scribd