Eviction Of 16th Street Shul Upheld


A struggling Manhattan congregation’s attempt to keep its doors open may have been dealt a final blow Tuesday when a judge sided with the building owner, upholding an eviction notice.

The 16th Street Synagogue has struggled since the National Council of Young Israel sold the building a decade ago to developers who want to create apartments in the Flatiron District space. Efforts to develop only the upper floors while keeping the 67-year-old synagogue on the ground level were scuttled because of a disagreement between the two developers who bought the property.

Last month an eviction notice was taped to the door, but during the holiday season a sympathetic judge granted a reprieve until Jan. 9th when a hearing was held. But Judge Debra James of state Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that there was no cause to contest the eviction.

“We are shocked” by the decision, said congregation president Richard McBee ina n e-mail statement. “The court most certainly did not take into full account our historic, legal, equitable and moral rights to this building, as well as the fact that we have been trying to work this out to the best of our abilities.”

Claiming that the congregation could be seen as a one-third owner of the property under the 2002 sale agreement, the leadership will file a motion to the Appellate Division for review of the case.