Fifth Ave Condo Residents Demand up to $450K to Allow Library Renovations
The New York Public Library is supposedly being held hostage by condo owners. According to a lawsuit, before construction can begin on the Mid-Manhattan Public Library branch next to their building, the resident of a luxury condo want to be paid an “exorbitant” $15,000-a-month fee by taxpayers.
According to a lawsuit filed by the New York Public Library, the owners of the luxury condominium located at 445 Fifth Avenue, in which a one-bedroom unit costs nearly $1 million, are demanding to be paid a fee in order to permit scaffolding anf other safety equipment for the library’s construction to be put up.
The suit in Manhattan Supreme Court states that the “imposition of a license fee is unjustified, not only because it is not required by the law, but because the fee would be required to be paid by a not-forprofit organization whose core mission and purpose is to provide books, education resources and programs for the people of New York City.”
According to court documents, “The license fee proposed [by the condo] will impact [the library], its patrons, and New York City taxpayers considerably.”
The library refuses the demanded fee, which for the planned 30-month renovation could end up costing $450,000.
Next month, construction is expected to begin at the branch which is next door to the condo building at Fifth Avenus and East 40th Street. However, until the condo board provides the branch with access to areas of the building so that the necessary scaffolding and other protections can be erected, there is no way for the project to move forward.
According to court papers, “Any project delays would deprive the public of this much-needed addition to New York City’s public library system, and would divert funds from other important library projects.”
The Post reports, “The condo also is trying to restrict the hours when demolition and rebuilding can take place to weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., even though city code allows for longer periods, the suit says. The library’s attorneys are headed to court in the coming days for permission to install the construction protection on the condo’s property. A spokeswoman for the board did not immediately return a request for comment. The revamped branch across the street from the library’s main branch will hold more than 400,000 books and is scheduled to open by the end of 2019.”
"The need for affordable housing in Greenpoint and Williamsburg is too high to leave even one stone unturned.”
445 Fifth Avenue