Wednesday, December 12, 2007


120 St. Marks Pl. : D.O.B. Forgives Community Facilities Obligation and Ben Shaoul Leases to Piercing Salon , Tattoo Parlor and Bong-Shop...

ABOVE : "The Cave" , a squatter artist's commune at the original 120 St Marks Place 2 years ago before demolition and rebuilding .
ABOVE and BELOW : Per an original zoning resolution agreement with the DOB this space was to be rented as a community facility ( doctors office , religous organization , etc. ) only . In exchange for renting two and a half floors in the building as community facilities , Mr. Benjamin Shaoul was allowed to build a much larger building than normally would be allowed at this location . Now somehow some of that obligation , the entire ground floor , has been forgiven and this ground floor space is now legally leased to a piercing salon , tattoo parlor and Bong-shop .

We have posted so often , too often on 120 St. Marks Place . We are certainly tired of having to post on what is a very ordinary , architecturally uninteresting and in our opinion poorly constructed building ....but again it is necessary .
To fully appreciate what has happened at 120 St. Marks Place it is necessary that the reader first use the "Blogger " search feature to look at the several assembled previous posts concerning 120 St. Marks Place , Benjamin Shaoul and Magnum Management . Just enter these terms in the little search window in the upper left-hand corner on the upper-most "Blogger" header at the very top of this "Blogger" page . The reader should for completeness also "Google" or "Yahoo" these same terms .
To help provide the necessary perspective to be able to appreciate how the DOB has been complicit in so many questionable relationships with architects and developers please read these :
Several members of this community including NMNL , were promised by Council Person Mendez's office in the late summer of 2006 that Benjamin Shaoul would with certainty be required to fulfil his community facilities commitment . We were promised that our DOB before granting a certificate of occupancy allowing the building to be occupied would require Mr. Shaoul to fulfil his obligations . We took them at their word .
Today there is , as one can see above , a combination piercing salon , tattoo parlor and bong-shop in what , we were promised , would be a community facilities space . Not one of the spaces that were originally filed as community facilities spaces is on this date occupied as a community facilities space ...and the DOB has quietly allowed the original communities facilities agreement with Mr. Shaoul to be re-written forgiving Mr. Shaoul the obligation to rent to a community facilities qualifying ( doctors office , religous organization, day care center , senior center , etc. ) tenant on the ground floor . Yet Mr. Shaoul still gets to collect all that extra rental revenue generated by a building that was allowed to be built much , much larger than it could have been built without Mr. Shaoul signing on to a community facitities agreement with the DOB for 120 St. Marks place .
Take a look at the DOB building Profile for 120 St Marks : go to , click on "buildings" on the agency drop down panel then fill in the field on the right-hand side of the DOB page with borough ,street number and street . The DOB profile for 120 St. Marks will come up .
On this profile , if it can be believed , 3 seperate temporary Cof O s can be examined ... the first 2 falsely representing conditions at 120 St. Marks Place . The third temporary Cof O shows that the ground floor is now legally a commercial space having been changed by the DOB from a community facilities space to an unencombered commercial space which now can be legally leased as such .
But the cellar is not occupied as stated on the temporary Cof O by a doctors office : it is occupied by a veternarian ,which could perhaps pass as a community facility except that the use group for veternarians probably does not comply with that of the cellar space as listed on the third temporary C of O .
The second floor community facilities space is rented as an ordinary residence to ordinary residential tenants entirely contrary to the requirements of the applicable temporary certificate of occupancy . .
Looking further at the profile it can be seen that during the construction process there were numerous complaints filed and numerous violations issued . Indeed it appears that there are more than $20000 in unpaid fines to-date and several outstanding unresolved violations .
What is seen at 120 St Marks Place is emblematic of building developement in all the boroughs of our city and emblematic of the quality of the DOB oversight in all the boroughs of our city.
Many of the problems that have resulted from acts of non-compliance and incompetence on the part of architects and developers in this city have had trivial proportion but in some cases the result has been the destruction of property , injury and even death . At 120 St Marks Place in the summer of 2006 a man was injured in an interior partial structural collapse that occured during interior demolition that was being performed without a structural demolition permit and without proper supervision . We here at NMNL have a video tape of this man wrything and screamining in pain shrouded in a cloud of dust midst collapsed structure . This injured man was hauled away from the job-site in a van and , according to workers at the job-site , never seen again .The DOB was informed by NMNL of this incident but no action was taken against Mr. Shaoul by the DOB . This ...fellow New Yorkers , is your city's Bloomberg administration at work serving and protecting you .


I have been told by community members that The Christa Dora has not honored their community facility agreement way back when the building became the first symbol of gentrification. If you or any other readers of this blog can find out information on is this true or a rumor, please comment because this tsunami of development makes the need for community facilities even more urgent.

If it is true that the Christa Dora has not honored it's community facility obligation than it is even more ironic that Mike Rosen who shows up at community rallies and sits on CB3 zoning task force meetings, does not push the building to honor it's obligation. Mike Rosen forces his "Lenin" sculpture on us from his mega development, The Red Square (looks like an NYU mega dorm). Mike Rosen claims Lenin is waving at Wall Street. Rosen should move the Lenin sculpture moved to the roof his triplex on the Christa Dora which maybe his neighbors would appreciate and we would appreciate a community facility in the Christa Dora considering the history of the building. It never seems to come up at community boards meetings.

I met with NYU and demanded they give us community facilities in every mega dorm where they used the term community facility to supersize yet exclude the community.

If you look at the original stunning building that was the NYPD police headquarters, you will see on the south side a community facility for senior citizens which means somehow someone and or the community had the integrity, concern and effectively worked to make sure this happened!!!!!!!!

Suzannah B. Troy
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