Manhattan Youth closes center, and moves into offices

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Manhattan Youth has moved its administrative offices to 225 Broadway, suite 1020. Last month, the nonprofit youth services provider was forced to close its community center at 55 Warren St. when its lease expired and it could no longer afford to stay there.

Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, said he hopes to remain at 225 Broadway until a new recreation center is built inside the residential complex planned for Chambers, Warren and West Sts.

The organization ran an after-school program out of its 6,000 square-foot space at 55 Warren St., but it does not have enough room in its new, 1,300-square-foot office to continue that program.

“It’s going to be boring,” Townley joked of his scaled-back office on Broadway.

All of Manhattan Youth’s other programs, including a summer camp and an after-school program based at I.S. 89, will be run out of the new office. Townley declined to say how much the organization is paying for its new space, but said he had found real estate to be cheaper in the Financial District than in Tribeca.

If development proceeds as planned on the lot behind P.S. 234, the project will be completed in 2007. The 35-story height of the planned residential tower has drawn widespread criticism, and Community Board 1 has pushed for a reduced height and a recreation center larger than the original, 18,000 square-foot design.

Negotiations among the city, the community board and the 5C developer have not yet produced an official compromise. Sources close to the negotiations say the parties are discussing a slightly lower building and a 28,000 square-foot recreation center.

The group’s phone number is still 212- 766-1104. For more information on Manhattan Youth, go to www.manhattanyouth.org.


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