Friday, August 24, 2007


A Return to 120 St Marks Place ...

ABOVE : The facade of 120 St Marks Place
ABOVE and BELOW : The expired temporary certificate of occupancy for 120 St. Marks Place .

It has been a while since we have posted on 120 St Marks Place . Anyone scrolling through the NMNL archive from August 2006 to December 2006 can see that once 120 St Marks was a regular subject here ...and with good reason as can be seen by reading those posts .
Now we return to 120 because of what appear to be some irreguarities with the certificate of occupancy ( C of O ) for the building .
Currently , according to the Department of Buildings building profile for the building , there is no C of O for 120 St. Marks Place . There was a temporary Cof O but that was applicable for only 90 days and has since expired .The temporary C of O can not be renewed and thus now , by the zoning laws and building code at least , it is unlawful to occupy or attempt to rent or lease any part of this property .
The owner of this building ,Benjamin Shaoul , and his architect , Ramy Issac , applied for a premium in extra building bulk or floor space beyond what the zoning resolution for this lot would normally allow by agreeing to rent the basement , the ground floor and the second floor as community facilities spaces . That means these floors would be rented for example to a day care center , to a doctor for an office or perhaps to a religious organization .
Notice on the documents above , that is the expired temporary C of O , that indeed the name of a religious organization , Chabad , is listed as occupying the basement , the ground floor and the second floor .
Now look at the Tower Brokerage for-rent sign for the empty ground floor and part of the basement : where is Chabad on this ground floor ?
Now notice that there is also a veternarian now occupying another part of the basement : where is Chabad in this basement ? We should also note here that a veternarians office probably does not comply with the use group 4 that is listed for the space on the temporary C of O .
Recently "The Villager" ran a picture by Lorcan Otway showing some young men drinking something party-fashion while standing on the second floor fire-escape : where is Chabad on this second floor ?
Now it is likely that Mr. Shaoul will soon have a C of O but we have to ask if in issuing this C of O will the city DOB require that Mr. Shaoul fullfill his commitment to rent the basement ,ground floor and second floor as community facilities or will they just continue to look the other way . Will the DOB do as it has so often in the past with others in similar situations allow Mr. Shaoul to ignore the law and his agreed-to legal commitments . By agreeing to build space for community facilities he gained the opportunity to profit from building and renting a larger than normally allowed building on this location .
Recently several community members were assured by the DOB and the local council persons office that Mr. Shaoul would be required to honor his agreements regarding the creation and maintenance of community facilities spaces at 120 St. Marks Place . We note here that we at NMNL were also assured that there would be no C of O without full compliance with the agreement to provide community facilities spaces and rent or lease them as such at 120 St Mark Place .
To see the building profile for 120 St Marks Place or for that matter any NYC building go to
and then click on "buildings" on the drop-down on the left of the home page for NYC . Then fill in burough ,house number and street name in the appropriate spaces on the right of the DOB page .
To read the above documents simply click on them and they will enlarge

a Chabad house MIGHT include young men drinking, particularly wine or beer after a dinner or services or at a social event. they are typically like a jewish outreach center aimed at young people (usually near colleges).
Of course what you say could possibly be true but this picture had the look of a private party in someone's apartment .

Furthermore this building in no way shows any sign of being a chabab .There are people living in several if not all of the apartments in the building
Bob this is you at your best and truly a hero for our embattle community...
takes courage to speak up and the death toll under the our development mayor who allows so much development with out monitoring and accountability so much so the death toll keeps rising and or horrific injuries....

We need more people to stand up and expose the unethical and or dangerous dealings...
Way to stick it to the man. Hopefully something will come out of it. Great pics from Rays. Its good to see whats going on the in the neighborhood when I´m across the big pond here in Algerciras Spain.

Yup, New Orleans was an interesting trip, but a bit hot, so I took off for the European tour.

Anyways, I still have my apartment subletted out till the end of August, so I was wondering if I could sleep on your floor for one night on Wedneday the 29th. I´ll clean your floors.

You can drop me an email at jim (replace with at)
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