City Weighs Support For Children’s Magical Garden

June 13, 2013. Garden advocates marched to CB3's parks committee meeting.

June 13, 2013. Garden advocates marched to CB3’s parks committee meeting.

Last week, we posted a short item regarding the decision by Community Board 3’s parks’ committee to support a campaign to make the Children’s Magical Garden a permanent green space under he auspices of the city’s GreenThumb Program.  A resolution approved during the meeting will be taken up by CB3’s full board next week, and will almost certainly be adopted.  Now, more details.

Children’s Magical Garden Feud With Developer is Rekindled

The Children's Magical Garden on Stanton and Norfolk.

The Children’s Magical Garden on Stanton and Norfolk.

We are on the scene at the Children’s Magical Garden at Stanton and Norfolk where a long standing dispute has been rekindled between the community and developer Serge Hoyda.  Hoyda has planned to develop a portion of this site for some time now. A fence is being installed and we are told cutting crews are standing by. Police officers are here, trying to keep the peace. We will have more as this story unfolds.

City Gives Developer More Time to Finish 180 Ludlow

It looks like 180 Ludlow, one of a handful of languishing hotel projects on the Lower East Side, is one step closer to being resuscitated.  Financing woes, legal battles and problems with city permits idled the construction site more than two years ago. But at least one of developer Serge Hoyda’s obstacles in finishing the job has now been cleared.

In the past week, the Board of Standards and Appeals finally gave Hoyda the go-ahead to resume work on the 20-story hotel, which has plagued Ludlow Street businesses and residents for several years.  Initially, the city only gave him two years to complete the project (which was approved before new height limits were imposed on this block). Now he has another two years to get the job done (May 2013 is the new deadline).

So far, no new permits are showing up in the Department of Buildings’ computer system.  There’s been talk that Hoyda intends to sell the building site. As we reported a few weeks ago, Ira Yavarkovsky (who owned several parcels making up the development site), is suing Hoyda, alleging that Hoyda still owes him $12 million for the land.

Community Board 3 declined to support Hoyda’s application for an “extension of time,” in part, because he could not commit to hiring at least 20% local workers once the hotel opens for business.

Rabbi’s Ruling Complicates 180 Ludlow Lawsuit

The long saga surrounding 180 Ludlow – one of the neighborhood’s most infamous stalled construction sites – is taking more strange turns.

Next month, attorneys for developer Serge Hoyda return to the Board of Standards and Appeals, seeking a variance — a request for an extension of time to complete a 20 story hotel. The troubled project has been an eyesore on Ludlow Street for four years.

This past month, Community Board 3 declined to support Hoyda’s application,  in part because he could not commit to hiring at least 20% local workers once the hotel opens for business.  But the setback at the community board appears to be the least of his problems.

It seems Hoyda is also having to fend off a lawsuit from Ira Yavarkovsky, whose family owned three parcels that make up the hotel development site.  The Yavarkovsky’s operated a paper products company at 180 Ludlow from 1898-2007. The suit claims Hoyda only made one payment of $1.67 million and, four years after the title was transferred, still owes almost $12 million.

Back to “Square One” at 180 Ludlow and 163 Orchard

180 Ludlow Street.

The saga of 180 Ludlow, one of the Lower East Side’s most infamous stalled building sites, is taking another strange turn.  The luxury hotel turned rental apartment building is now a hotel project again. This is, at least, the hope of developer Serge Hoyda, who has been having a very rough time winning the approval of the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).

Last night Jessica Loeser, Hoyda’s attorney (and a public member of CB3’s land use and zoning panel) walked her colleagues on the committee through the latest strategy to close up the hulking shell of a building that has been a blight on the neighborhood since 2007.  Having recused herself from voting on the issue, Loeser explained that the application for a zoning variance (needed to convert the hotel to an apartment complex) was withdrawn, after it became clear the BSA was “not warming up to the proposal.”