Other Special Projects

NYCHA Tenants Fight Infill Luxury Housing Plan

Cooper Square Committee members and staff joined hundreds of tenants who turned out for a rally and public hearing held by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) on July 24th at Pace University to protest NYCHA plans to lease 18 parcels of land at eight Manhattan housing projects for luxury housing. 8 parcels at five Lower East Side projects are part of the plan – at Smith Houses, Baruch Houses, Laguardia Houses, Campos Plaza and Meltzer Tower. 

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NYCHA Infill Plan

Succession And NYCHA
Telephone: 347-903-8428 (90evictNYCHA)
Fax: 415-873-1754
Email: Contact.SuccessionAndNYCHA@gmail.com@gmail.com
Mailing List: http://groups.google.com/group/evictnycha

City Funds Homeless LGBT Youth Housing Project Proposed by Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center

The Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center have been awarded $3 million by the City Council and an additional $300,000 by Borough President, Scott Stringer to develop housing for up to 18 homeless LGBT youth at 222 East 13th Street, which will be formally named the Bea Arthur Residence.  Bea Arthur was an advocate and supporter of the Ali Forney Center and its mission.  Community Board 3 unanimously recommended that the site be transferred to the Ali Forney Center and the Cooper Square Committee for this use.

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Community Board 3 Supports LGBT Youth Housing

On October 24th, we received a unanimous vote of support (11 – 0) from the Land Use Committee of Community Board 3 for 222e13our proposal (in partnership with the Ali Forney Center) to turn a vacant city owned building at 222 E. 13th St. into housing for 12 – 18 homeless LGBT youth.  Community Board 3’s resolution will urge HPD (the City’s housing agency) to grant us site control so that we can apply for the funds needed to renovate the building.  We appreciate the support of the more than 500 people who signed the petition in support of our proposal.  We will continue to need community support to move this project forward to a successful conclusion.  There are over 1,500 homeless LGBT youth in NYC, so this is a small, but important, step in addressing the larger crisis. Get involved.  Help make a difference!

If you want to help do outreach to garner further support, contact Steve.

St Marks Bookshop – Letter from Community Board 3

September 28, 2011


We are writing to convey Manhattan Community Board 3’s support of the St. Mark’s Bookshop, a tenant of Cooper Union residing at 115 East 9th Street. It is our desire that it remain economically viable and in its current location for many years to come.



Since 1977, the St. Mark’s Bookshop has served the East Village as an independent bookstore offering books and reading materials customized to meet the needs of our unique neighborhood of students, artists, cultural institutions and other diverse groups. The St. Mark’s Bookshop has a loyal customer base of local residents who depend on this business to meet their needs.


Community Board 3 works closely with City and State agencies and elected officials as a platform for planning and decision making for our community. We recognize that the current recession has hit our community hard. It has caused local merchants to close their doors, giving way to what is becoming a glut of nightlife establishments and national chains that are permanently changing the character of our neighborhood. The St. Mark’s Bookshop typifies the type of businesses that we must retain, a business that is locally owned and has a long track record of success and deep roots in the community, and that provides daytime service and goods needed by the local residents.


Community Board 3 is proud to have Cooper Union as a part of our district and recognizes the significant contribution that your institution makes to so many individuals. We also understand that the recession has caused economic hardship for all of us and that you too have obligations to your constituents and donors. That being said, the revenue this lease represents to Cooper Union cannot be considered to be material in the scope of your vast enterprise, and that stands in stark contrast to the large impact it would have on our neighborhood if The St. Mark’s Bookshop were to fail.


Furthermore, the installation of The St. Mark’s Bookshop at this location was Cooper Union’s concession to this community for the much disputed construction of what was then a high rise dormitory.


Community Board 3 is asking that Cooper Union revisit the economic situation of The St. Mark’s Bookshop and the hardships it faces, and negotiate in good faith with it on a leasehold revision that will make it economically viable for this beloved bookshop to continue to remain open in its current location. We believe that without a meaningful rent concession The St. Mark’s Bookshop will potentially go the way of so many other local merchants and close its doors for good. This would be an enormous loss for our neighborhood.


We know that Cooper Union appreciates the unique character of the neighborhood in which it resides and has been and will continue to be an advocate for the welfare of that community. We sincerely hope that you will give this request the significant and thoughtful consideration that it deserves.



St Marks Bookshop – Letter of Support from Deborah Glick

August 3, 2011


T.C. Westcott

Vice President

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science

51 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003


Dear Ms. Westcott;


While Cooper Union is a valued member of the community, the question of its special tax

treatment regarding its commercial real estate holdings has generated concern in the past.

The institution’s ability to provide a full tuition remission to its students is a valuable tool in

attracting the best students. Although the initial goal may have been to educate students from

the New York area, the changing mission of the institution has led to New York City taxpayers

essentially subsidizing students from places like Pennsylvania, or Texas or Alabama.


In the sweep of the past many years, much has been given to Cooper Union and Cooper Union

has been a good neighbor in many respects in return. Now there is an opportunity for a modest

but significant way for Cooper Union to assist the community in retaining another important

institution, the Saint Marks bookstore.


St. Mark’s is currently struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31 Third

Avenue and assistance by Cooper Union could save this irreplaceable neighborhood institution. Given Cooper

Unions’ real estate investments, including the soon to be redeveloped 51 Astor Place as a fully commercial

building, I believe that a rent concession to St. Mark’s Bookshop would not constitute a large burden.

Furthermore, you would be greatly contributing to the artistic and community spirit of the neighborhood of

which you are part. Please do the right thing and help St. Mark’s Bookshop. The community would greatly

appreciate your contribution by helping to maintain this longstanding neighborhood business.



Deborah J. Glick




St Marks Bookshop – Letter of Support from Rosie Mendez

Dear Ms. Westcott:

I write to add my name to others who call upon Cooper Union to grant all favorable

consideration to the St. Mark’s Bookshop, an institution which has a long tradition in our

community and which serves an increasingly rare and admirable function. St. Marks is

currently struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31

Third Avenue, and a significant rent concession by Cooper Union could save this

irreplaceable neighborhood institution.

St. Marks has occupied their small commercial space in the ground floor of your

dormitory building since the structure was built in the mid-1980’s. As I recall, Cooper

Union agreed to house the bookstore in this space, at least in part, as a concession to the

community when opposition arose to the construction of another dormitory along 3rd Ave.

I know that economic difficulties are affecting all manner of organizations in these trying

times. However, given the breath of Cooper Unions’ real estate investments, including

the soon to be redeveloped 51 Astor Place as a fully commercial building, I believe that a

rent concession to St. Mark’s Bookshop would not constitute a large burden for your

institution. It could on the other hand preserve a unique neighborhood bookstore.

I urge you to preserve St. Marks.



Rosie Mendez


cc: Claire McCarthy


Save the St. Marks Bookshop

Congratulations to the St. Marks Bookshop on receiving a rent reduction from Cooper Union, and thanks to everyone who signed our online petition in support of the bookstore and to Boro President Scott Stringer for intervening. Kudos to Joyce Ravitz and Frances Goldin for leading this effort.





Stop Hydraulic Fracturing Now!

Before it contaminates our water supplies, destroys our precious ecosystem and poisons us and future generations.

Misleading the public under the false claim that natural gas is a clean energy, the oil and gas industry is currently using a toxic and hazardous process for natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”). This process, currently ongoing in thirty-four states, is causing irreparable damage to the environment, poisoning humans and animals, making farms, homes and large tracts of land uninhabitable.

Following the film a discussion will be led by a speaker from United for Action

SUNDAY                                              TUESDAY
April 10, 2011                                         April 12, 2011
2:00 – 5:00 PM                                       6:30 – 9:30 PM
Green Residence
200 East 5th Street
(corner of 3rd Ave.)

Lower East Side Coalition to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing! (List in formation) Cooper Square Committee,

CODA, Village Independent Democrats, St. Marks Church, GOLES, sustainable-nyc, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, anthony aiden opticians,

Wheel chair accessible                                                                             More info about fracking…