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The following 14 pages of documents were obtained in a "redacted" or "edited" form, with much of the significant content blocked out. Two pages are still omitted completely. This section of matarials were originally withheld by HPD from the Coalition to Save PS 109, and from the broad public, in defiance of the spirit and letter, of the Freedom of Information Law and court decisions pursuant thereto. The only valid exceptions involve considerations such as proprietary secrets and national security. Otherwise, even according to the cited snippet, government agencies are required to turn over any and all statistical tabulations or data, instructions to staff that affect the public, final agency policy or determinations and external audits. Nothing should stand in the way of full disclosure of public inter-agency and intra-agency dealings such as the handover of public school property to private developers.

For more information, see "The Outrageous and Illicit Secrecy Surrounding the PS 109 Land Grab (CLICK) ".

   Sep 11, 2006: Letter from Joseph Fiocca, General Counsel to the HPD;s Tax Incentivess and Housing Supervision Division, apperently in charge of intra-agency FOIL denial appeals. This lame "cover" letter was enclosed with the HPD responses to our Freedom of Information Law request of materials originally withheld and now partially released in "redacted" form (with the juicy parts blocked out, along with two pages omitted entirely). What are they trying to hide? (CLICK)
   Jun 16, 2006: Carolyn Zern to Charles Marcus, intra-agency within HPD, curiously affirming, amid the cross-outs, a program of "rehabilitating of vacant schools into housing." It should re De-bilitating schools made vacant. You would think that this runs smack into the face of the Bloomberg administration's supposed priority on education, but you would be wrong, apparently. Only Page 1 of 2 was provided. (CLICK)
   Mar. 08, 2006: Carolyn Zern, HPD project manager for the PS 109 Artspace conversion, invites Artspace to direct any questions to her and supplying other in-house contacts. The remainder of the communication is blocked out, for whatever reason. (CLICK)
   Sep. 28, 2005: HPD Assistant Commissioner Holly M. Leicht to Randal Fong of DCAS, requesting an additional year hold on Artspace project. (CLICK)
   Mar. 1, 2005: All content blocked out. (CLICK)
   Oct. 15, 2004: List of HPD properties "on hold", or ready to be turned over to private interests. PS 109 is part of a wider giveaway policy within the Bloomberg administration. (CLICK)
   Oct. 15, 2004: DCAS Deputy Commissioner Lori Fierstein to HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan, asking for a 1-year hold on turning over the PS 109 "property, but offering to turn PS 109 over when HPD indicates closeness to conveying the "property". (CLICK)
   Aug. 24, 2004: HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan to DCAS Commissioner Martha K. Hirst, recommending a 6-month hold to give Artspace and Fightback additional time to "demonstrate community support" for giving away a public school building to private real estate developers. (CLICK)
   Jul. 27, 2004: DCAS Commissioner Martha K. Hirst to HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan - Content entirely blocked out. (CLICK)
   Feb. 15, 2004: Memorandum from Luiz C. Aragon Deputy Commissioner of HPD to Lori Fierstein of DCAS - Notice the top paragraph blocked out. In the context of the second paragraph, which states that "In addition, HPD received an expression of interest from [Artspace/Fightback]," it appears that Artspace may have been focused upon, while a possible other projecct was summarily ignored. (CLICK)
The following documents were originally provided by HPD to the Coalition to Save PS 109, in compliance with the Freedom of Information Law
June 22, 2006, Letter from Tami Rachelson of School Construction Authority to Ms. Carolyn Zern of Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
License Agreement between New York City School Construction Authority and Artspace Projects, Inc (CLICK)
ACORD Certificate of Liability Insurance
May 3, 2006, Letter from Holly Leicht of HPD to Wendy R. Holmes of Artspace Projects, Inc and Gus Rosado of Operation Fightback, Inc., on Terms and Conditions of Authorization (CLICK)
April 11, 2006, HPD Design Review: "Drawings received...none further required": (CLICK)
April 5, 2006, "Sources and Uses", in which the construction costs to reconvert P.S. 109 into live/work artist housing is estimated implausibly at less than 60% of that of restoring it to its original design as a school. (CLICK)
April 5, 2006, 4 Percent Model.
  • Operating Expense - Residential.. (CLICK)
  • April 5, 2006, HDC Construction Interest. (CLICK)
  • April 5, 2006, Tax Credit Summary Tables. (CLICK)
  • April 5, 2006, Resources and Uses, 4 Pct. Model, now showing the $800,000+ shortfall. (CLICK)
April 5, 2006, Development Budget (finer breakdown than "Sources and Uses", above). (CLICK)
March 29, 2006, Email from Carolyn Zern of HPD to Charles Marcus of HPD questioning whether HPD can issue license agreement to Artspace, since PS 109 "is not in our jurisdiction".(CLICK)
March 16, 2006, Email from Greg Handberg of Artspace to Carolyn Zern of SCA, in consideration of HDC's work, shows shortfalls and deficits beginning to develop.(CLICK)
January 19, 2006, Letter from Greg Handberg of Artspace Projects, Inc., Properties to Holly Leicht and Rachel Grossman of HPD, RE PS109 Affordable Live/Work Housing.
Project Narrative (CLICK)
Project Financial Analyses.
Existing Structure Photographs.
Proposed Floor Plans.
Developer Qualifications. (CLICK)
Evidence of Site Control.
Memorandum of Understanding between Artspace Projects, Inc., and El Barrio's Operation Fightback, Inc.
Letters of Interest from Financial Institutions.
Income Generation Projections by Artspace as of November 22, 2005.
November 9, 2005, Letter from Holly Leicht of HPD to Wendy R. Holmes of Artspace and Gus Rosado of Operation Fightback.
November 28, 2005, 9 Percent Model.
October 20, 2005, Letter from Community Board M-11 to HPD announcing support for Operation Fightback and Artspace projects. (CLICK)
October 17, 2005, Memorandum of Understanding between Artspace and El Barrio Operation Fightback. (CLICK)
September 16, 2005, Letter from Tami Rachelson of SCA to Chair Lino Rios of CB M-11, confirming DOE intent to surrender P.S. 109 for immediate transfer to HPD.
August 3, 2005, Memo from Martha K. Hirst of Department of Citywide Administrative Services to Shaun Donovan of HPD, with list of properties on hold to HPD.
June 27, 2005, Manhattan Community Board 11 Policy Statement on Housing Development. (CLICK)
September 27, 2004, Letter from Christopher Cirillo of HPD to Wendy Holmes of Artspace, announcing commitment to Artspace project.
July 29, 2004, Letter from Wendy Holmes of Artspace to Shawn Donovan of HPD expressing interest.
March 12, 2004, Architectural Feasibility Study for restoring P.S. 109 as a school, demonstrating that it is more expensive to build a new building from scratch than to renovate an already-existing one, by Raymond Plumey. Artspace apologists, now joined by Plumey, claim the opposite to justify taking P.S. 109 out of the education system, although no new school building is promised, and conversion to artist live/work residential housing would be more expensive still. (CLICK)