211 Ainslie’s next court date: mid-October. Will the Einhorns play ball?
Small World’s children, Swinging Sixties’ seniors, and Community Board 1 want to stay in their home of four decades.
Since Christmastime in 2013, community organizations, elected officials, and local leaders have persistently stood their ground that 211 Ainslie should remain the home to Small World Child Care, Swinging Sixties Senior Center, and meetings for Community Board 1 (among others). After real estate moguls Harry and Victor Einhorn purchased the building, they hiked up the rent to an extent that could be interpreted as way to force its tenants out. The ensuing years have brought rallies, a sit-in (in which Council Member Reynoso was arrested with several community members for blocking traffic in protest of the potential eviction of these community centers), and court dates.
The goal of the advocates is to buy 211 Ainslie Street from the Einhorns. They seemed very close to achieving this in April when Councilman Antonio Reynoso and Lincoln Restler (senior policy adviser to Mayor de Blasio) came up with an $8.8M offer after a marathon negotiation at City Hall. The Einhorn team requested a day to think it over, only to use that time to file bankruptcy.
So it was back to court for Conselyea Street Block Association and St. Nicks Alliance, who merged two years ago to ensure community’s ability to acquire the property (with budgetary assistance from Councilman Reynoso and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office). They made their court date in August; they made their court date in September. They are now gearing up for an upcoming court date only a couple weeks away.
Last year, when the possibility of eminent domain was vetoed, State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan said, “Having gotten that far in the legislative process underscores the importance of the facility, as well as the community’s intent to ultimately own 211 Ainslie Street. One way or another, it’s going to happen.”
Here’s hoping perseverance pays off with a Christmas miracle in October.