Tensions appear to have lessoned somewhat in the past week between Masaryk Towers and at least some of its neighbors. As The Lo-Down first reported, the cooperative residential complex closed a walkway on Rivington Street May 5, angering the surrounding community.
Leaders of Grand Street Settlement were particularly unhappy. The large non-profit operates senior and youth programs from its headquarters just outside the gate near Pitt Street. In spite of promises to keep the organization apprised of longstanding plans to shut the gates for security and insurance reasons, there was almost no advance warning. The closure means program participants are forced to walk around to Delancey or Houston streets.
We were told today that Masaryk Towers and Grand Street Settlement are now talking. A Grand street spokesperson said, “We are in good faith negotiations with Masaryk Towers at this point, emphasizing access for Grand Street. Settlement participants and affected community members.”
The settlement house plans an “informational rally” tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the entrance of its building, 80 Pitt St. (Rivington). “The rally,” the spokesperson explained, “will serve to update the community on the negotiations and to encourage Masaryk Towers to provide as much access as possible to Grand Street Settlement participants and related family members and caregivers, and to be clear with the larger community on the status of the Rivington Street walkway.”