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ABC No Rio’s eco-friendly revamp waylaid by a financial snafu

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The punk haven needs more funding

The plan to revamp Lower East Side cultural space and punk haven ABC No Rio is inching closer toward reality, but as Bowery Boogie reports, the project is turning out to be just a little bit pricier than anticipated.

Though they’d managed to delay the inevitable for years, ABC No Rio was forced to move forward with a total rebuild after the sale of the neighboring Streit’s Matzo Factory, which is in the process of being turned into condos. And since ABC No Rio wasn’t structurally sound enough to survive the demolition next door, it seemed clear: the time had come for a long-awaited razing and rebuilding of their own.

The plan is to replace the decrepit tenement building with a brand-new multi-million dollar passive house facility set to become “one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the city,” according to architect Paul Castrucci.

There’s just one snag, says Bowery Boogie: construction bids for the new and improved (if less decidedly punk) eco-friendly venue have come in much higher than anticipated—and ABC No Rio doesn’t have the cash.

Director Steven Englander explained the situation on the center’s website:

We put the project out to bid and, unfortunately, the bids came back a lot higher than our available funding. While we’re disappointed, we’re not giving up hope and continue to explore our options for raising more money and getting our dream building up and running. … So, far from giving up hope, we’ll keep exploring what we need to make our new home happen. We are working with EDC staff and the construction management firm they hired to determine how to best move forward with our available funds given the current challenging market and environment for construction costs.

For the moment, the center’s programming continues “in exile.”

ABC No Rio

156 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002 (212) 254-3697