October 29, 2010
NYC Economic Development Corporation
110 William Street
New York, NY 10038
Dear Mr. Pinsky:
At our Full Board meeting held October 19, 2010, Community Board 11 voted to request the NYC Economic Development Corporation take the necessary steps to more fairly and transparently address the needs of the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center. The Board voted 26 in favor, 6 opposed, with 4 abstentions, to request EDC take the following actions:
1. Immediately stop the RFEI process and rescind the RFEI for the multi-purpose room and theater at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center
2. Communicate your specific concerns regarding Taller Boricua’s management of the multipurpose room and allow them an opportunity to take corrective actions
3. Allocate the necessary funding to sound-proof the ceiling/floor between the theater and multipurpose room
As with any tenant-landlord dispute, concerns regarding a tenant’s occupancy should be communicated clearly, directly and formally to the tenant before a landlord removes the tenant from the space it leases. While EDC does have the legal authority to terminate Taller Boricua’s month-to-month lease, as a conscientious City agency with control of a treasured community asset, we believe EDC is obligated to first inform Taller Boricua of its concerns regarding their management of the space before considering the termination of their tenancy. To ensure Taller Boricua is treated fairly, they must be informed of your concerns and then given an opportunity to take the necessary corrective actions to maintain their tenancy.
Working together we hope to communicate with our elected officials and the Mayor to earmark the needed funding to sound-proof the multi-purpose space and theater. These two spaces should not be limited in their capacity to host art and cultural programming due to sound-proofing issues. In order to realize the original vision for the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center it is vital that the City make the necessary investment to modernize this historic community facility.
Please feel free to contact our office should you need any further clarification on our position. We look forward to working with you to ensure Julia de Burgos Cultural Center showcases the many artistic and cultural talents of our community.
Matthew S. Washington
Community Board 11
cc: Congressman Charles Rangel
State Senator Jose Serrano
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito
Dara Nussbaum-Vasquez, EDC