A non-profit called Artspace is about halfway through converting an abandoned East Harlem school into affordable housing, much of it for artists, and a non-profit in the Bronx has a similar idea?with the added wrinkle that the city might demolish the Bronx school before the organization can get to work on it. The city, DNAinfo explains, is so worried about the state of the Grand Concourse's P.S. 31, which closed in 1997 and had its normal deterioration accelerated by Hurricane Sandy, that the building might have to come down, and city officials have given non-profit SoBRO a few weeks to prove that its conversion plan for the school is actually viable as an alternative to demolition. SoBRO's president says the three engineers the organization hired to inspect the building found about two-thirds of it to be in decent condition.
SoBRO actually worked with Artspace to come up with a proposal for P.S. 31, and their plan would carve the building in 60 live/work apartments, along with public spaces that would be artsy in nature?galleries, or a theater, or rooms for art classes. SoBRO says it has financing lined up in the form of tax credits and Goldman Sachs' backing. The LPC would have to vote on the restoration plan, and the city has promised to make its own decision about demolition by the end of October.
· City May Decide to Renovate or Tear Down History P.S. 31 Within Weeks [DNAinfo]
· Adaptive Reuse coverage [Curbed]