Today’s news:

New landlord’s demands could spell doom for embattled Swinging Sixties Center

Swing would be missed: W’burg senior center braces for fight after rent hike

The Brooklyn Paper

An embattled Williamsburg senior center and daycare got another batch of bad news this week in the form of a huge rent hike and a threat of eviction, according to the center’s manager.

The Swinging Sixties Center has been hanging on by a thread since 2012, when the city revoked funding for both its senior and toddler programs. Pols later restored the money under pressure from residents, but the Ainslie Street hub is bracing for another fight for its life after workers say they received a letter from the building’s new owner detailing a $10,000-a-month rent increase and a list of harsh demands.

“This is an emotional thing, and now we need to fight all over again,” said Community Board 1 member Jan Peterson, who spent the late 1960s and early 1970s working to open the center.

John Pelle, who runs the senior center, says he got the note from new owner Victor Einhorn on Tuesday. The rent is being raised to $40,000 per month and the tenants are now responsible for all upkeep and repairs, Pelle said the letter states. And if they cannot meet the new terms? Einhorn will padlock the building with no notice, according to Pelle.

The facility has hosted bingo games and the like for elderly people, daycare and after-school programs for kids, and community board meetings since 1974.

Peterson said she is disgusted with the city’s lack of oversight, given that it has spent millions on the building in the decades since the senior center opened, and suggested a government takeover as the solution to the center’s landlord battle.

“With all of the public money that has gone into this building over the year, why doesn’t the city take it under eminent domain?” said Peterson.

Peterson said she and others are trying to set up a meeting with city officials to see if a landlord can legally kick out a tenant that is running a city-funded program.

In the meantime, Community Board 1, which has held its monthly public hearings at the center for the past 38 years, is looking for new digs. Board chairman Chris Olechowski said the board took its public address system out of the building after Tuesday night’s meeting.

“We moved it all in case the building does get padlocked,” said Olechowski. “We’ll have to find another place to hold meetings. We might go to McCarren Park Pool or a public school.”

Einhorn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The community group Saint Nick’s Alliance raised $2-million earlier this year for the center to renovate the building.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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diehipster from Stomping Soyboys says:
Yep. I can only imagine what kind of kudult facility for playcationing transients will replace this place.
Dec. 16, 2013, 9:57 am
susan from Bay Ridge says:
what is wrong with this landlord....is the fact that the entire area is booming and he is figuring on getting a huge amount of money for his space?? Could be....just saying. It's a terrible waste of all the prior efforts & money to keep having to fight for what is desperately needed for all the seniors & families with young children in this are. The Center must be saved in order to maintain a diverse neighborhood that services all its residents --- not just the incoming money!!!
Dec. 16, 2013, 10:58 am
ty from pps says:
Wait.... they raised $2 million earlier this year without a signed-and-sealed long-term lease?! (i.e., 10 years)

That seems inappropriate, no? (a misrepresentation to donors)
Dec. 16, 2013, 12:50 pm
Brooklynite from Brooklyn says:
Congratulations, Marty Markowitz!
Dec. 16, 2013, 1:06 pm
Jordan from Williamsburg says:
I'm about 40 years too young to use this place, but not everyone in the neighborhood -- I live 5 blocks away -- is young and affluent. During the really bad summer heat waves, the city uses this place where seniors can go to get cool. The community board uses it for meetings. I saw an MTA hearing with Joe Lhota here. Maybe I'm stupid, being under 30, but I had always assumed it was owned by the city. It should be! They need to take it over. I never knew anyone paid rent for it.
Dec. 16, 2013, 1:46 pm
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
"In the meantime, Community Board 1, which has held its monthly public hearings at the center for the past 38 years, is looking for new digs. Board chairman Chris Olechowski said the board took its public address system out of the building after Tuesday night’s meeting. “We moved it all in case the building does get padlocked,” said Olechowski"

- Quite the classy reaction by a community board. How about leaving your stuff in there and letting the landlord know he's gonna have a world of trouble on his hands if he locks your stuff inside. Then act like you give a damn about the actual community and fight to help these people, many of whom have been in Brooklyn their whole lives.
Dec. 16, 2013, 4:17 pm
Marty from Dyker says:
"With all of the public money that has gone into this building over the year, why doesn’t the city take it under eminent domain?” said Peterson."

Holy cow.
Dec. 16, 2013, 4:54 pm
Abbé from Bk says:
meshugenah. Einhorn loves children. Certainly they can make a deal. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/05/07/nyregion/man-gets-3-years-in-sex-case.html
Dec. 16, 2013, 9:08 pm
Jac from 11249 says:
Ty, that's not unusual. NAG has been fundraising for months and they are essentially out of business. They haven't publicized that they are broke or that the sign is off of their door, it's just how it is.
Dec. 17, 2013, 7:31 pm
Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
Disban the community board, broads, boars. Its a corrupted unelected fight for power and get even with people that you dont like. Shut the place down for good, hood riddence
Dec. 20, 2013, 5:26 am
Frank from East Williamsburg says:
@Abbé from Bk are you sure that's the same Victor Einhorn??
Dec. 20, 2013, 8 pm
Franky from Greenpoint says:
Shut the whole god dam community down, its a worthless body thats corrupted from head to toe. Shut it down for good and save the entire community a headache
Dec. 22, 2013, 10:41 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Shazzam !!!
Dec. 26, 2013, 12:42 pm
Dar from 11249 says:
These are the Einhorns of the school bus owning/managing Einhorns. That's how he got access to young girls, bussing them back and forth between Williamsburg and the Catskills.
Dec. 31, 2013, 8 am

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