The 123 Community Space in Bedford Stuyvesant is facing eviction from their landlord, who says he just doesn’t want a community space on his property. Huh?
Run by a group of volunteers, the space offers free programs like bike workshops, childcare, screen-printing, and community meals, along with monthly music nights and pancake brunches. Since August of 2007 – when they moved in – they’ve paid their rent on time.
In recent months, the 123 has faced eviction by landlord Mayer Friedman, who, despite good-faith efforts on the part of the tenants, refuses to negotiate with the Board of Directors of the 123 Community Space LLC. Court proceedings began on May 19, during which the judge voiced his confusion as to why a landlord would be evicting rent-paying tenants in a faltering market. Friedman contends that he simply does not want a community organization in his storefront. The trial date is set for Thursday, June 11th. While the landlord has consistently neglected to perform basic maintenance and necessary structural repairs to the building, the tenants continue to fulfill their obligations.
A rally is being held today at 3pm, at 123 Tompkins Avenue, after which a march to Councilman Al Vann’s office is scheduled. In a media alert, the representatives of the space said they hope to rally support to continue community programming and secure their space for the long term.