Over a decade after announcing plans to replace its former Lower East Side tenement with a ground-up structure, arts group collective ABC No Rio has finally won approval from the Department of Buildings for its swanky new home. Bowery Boogie reports that plans for the new structure, a four-story building designed by Paul A. Castrucci that will adhere to the rigorously energy efficient passive house standards, were approved by the DOB earlier this month.
ABC No Rio’s space reincarnation has been bungled by funding woes for the better half of a decade. Construction bids solicited by the collective came in “a lot higher than our available funding,” director Steven Englander explained in 2017, at which point the organization decided to team up with the Economic Development Corporation and a construction firm hired by EDC to determine how best to move forward.
ABC No Rio’s former structure was leveled two years ago, when demolition of the neighboring Streit’s Matzo Factory in order to build 45 million-dollar-plus condos threatened to compromise the 1917 building’s structural integrity. The lot has sat empty since the building’s demolition.
“After bidding out our job four times in six years in an over-heated construction market, we finally got a contractor able and willing to do the job within our available funding,” ABC No Rio director Steven Englander told Bowery Boogie, noting that the group is hopeful that construction might begin by the end of the year or early 2019. Englander also notes he’s wary of predicting a timeline for the project, given all the setbacks it has suffered.
The building designed by Paul A. Castrucci is set to span about 9,000 square feet and include increased exhibition space, a green roof, a zine shop, a dark room, a computer lab, and a kitchen. Castrucci’s previously said the building will be “one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the city.”
- DOB Approves ABC No Rio Passive House on Rivington Street [Bowery Boogie]
- All ABC No Rio coverage [Curbed]
- All Lower East Side coverage [Curbed]