DOB Approves ABC No Rio Passive House on Rivington Street

Posted on: November 19th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Where ABC No Rio stood on Rivington Street

ABC No Rio – in its former punk rock incarnation at 156 Rivington Street – was demolished back in April 2017. Its long-overdue rebirth as sleek “passive house” is one major step closer to reality.

Since takedown of the century-old tenement two years ago, the lot has been dormant while action transpired behind the scenes. Only now is there substantive progress to report. The Department of Buildings approved the plans earlier this month to construct the new four-story building.

The state-of-the-art facility, designed by local architect Paul A. Castrucci, will eventually boast larger exhibition and performance spaces (doubling the size), in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. The solar-equipped building will also have an elevator and host the organization’s zine library, computer lab, print shop, dark room, and kitchen.

Photo: Paul Castrucci Architects

“After bidding out our job four times in six years in an over-heated construction market, we finally got a contractor able and willing to do the job within our available funding,” ABC No Rio director Steve Englander quipped last week. “We’re hopeful we might begin [construction] by end of year or early 2019. However, over the years I’ve grown wary of predicting a timeline.”

Jobco Inc. is the developer of record, which did some of the work on Fourth Arts Block.

Englander nevertheless maintains that there are still a number of hurdles to clear before the ground-break can commence, which had initially been planned for a “spring 2018” start.

Photo: Paul Castrucci Architects

Meanwhile, as previously reported, ABC No Rio continues hosting unique programming in exile while its passive house at 156 Rivington Street makes its way to reality. Its impressive zine library of more than 13,000 titles – the project began in spring 1998 – remains housed across the street at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center for the duration.

ABC No Rio purchased the vintage tenement at 156 Rivington from the city In 2006 for one dollar. Since then, the organization has raised more than $8 million in both private donations and city grants. Plans for the 9,000 square-foot, Leed-certified structure are about a ten years in the making.

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