A location of Crunch just opened at 2 Cooper Square, and now this: a boxing gym is set to replace the Yippie! Museum at 9 Bleecker Street, a building that long housed outspoken lefties like pot activist Dana Beal.
A lawyer involved in ongoing litigation over the building confirmed that it’s a done deal.
“The court appointed receiver performed his duty and signed a long-term lease with a tenant that will be running a boxing gym out of the premises,” said attorney Steven L. Einig, who represents the building’s lender Centech LLC, which last year sued the building’s owners, Yippie Holdings and the National AIDS Brigade. “I understand that the tenant is a local resident and now the rent is going to paid, the building, which was quite run down, will be cleaned up and no longer vacant.”
The Corcoran Realty Group put up the four-bedroom red-brick building for $22,500 month rent back in November — well before a State Supreme Court Justice ordered it cleared for new tenants and barred yippie leader Dana Beal, then in prison on Nebraska on marijuana charges, from returning to the premises.
Both Michael Adorno, a spokesman for Corcoran, and Meryl L. Wenig, attorney for the building’s receiver, declined to comment on the new tenant.
Dana Beal’s lawyer, Noah Potter, said he learned of the new lease a week ago while arguing in court that the building’s receiver should be removed since he had “forced out Beal” and another long term yippie occupant Alice Torbush, “and there was still no tenant.” It was then, Potter said, that a lawyer for the receiver presented an unsigned 10-year lease for the building to be converted into a boxing gym. The lawyer, he said, claimed the lease would be signed the next day.
Potter said his requests to see the lease “both as proposed and executed” had been unavailing.
Litigation between Centech and Yippie Holdings and the National AIDS Brigade has dragged on since 2009. In September last year, Centech’s attorney said interest on the $1.4 million mortgage had ballooned to $3.5 million and interest was accruing daily. Before the building was ordered vacated, the building’s court appointed receiver said the yippie tenants had not paid any of $20,000 month rent he had imposed.
Potter said the yippie building is still in foreclosure and the lender, Centech, is still suing to take its title, and/or recover the money it is owed. Einig confirmed that the owners “continue to be in default on all payments to the mortgagee.”
Update: Yippie “Pie Man” Aron Kay, who advocated for varied causes from the building over the years and hosted his own birthday parties there, called the transaction “disgusting,” saying of the gym, “I think it will bring down the quality of the neighborhood.”