By: Lore Croghan
August 18th, 2004
The Candyman got a temporary reprieve from eviction – the Bronx church that owns his storefront near Ground Zero agreed to let him stay rent-free until after Valentine’s Day.
Then Alan Silver, who’s been hand-dipping chocolates on Chambers Street for 30 years, will have to move. “At this stage of the game, I’m 60 – and my children are four, six and eight years old,” Silver said. “I’ve got to figure out a way to put them through school.”
Silver and his landlord, St. Peter’s Church, just settled an eviction case that’s been ongoing since last spring. The church wanted Candy World out of 88 Chambers St. because it found a buyer for the five-story building. They’d been sparring since soon after 9/11 about how much rent Silver owes. His business was behind barricades for a month – and never fully recovered.
St. Peter’s is forgiving Silver about $175,000 the church says he owes in back rent. “It’s worth making concessions to get closure and move forward with the sale of the building,” said Gerald Ross, a lawyer for the church. St. Peter’s, a working-class parish, was given the property at 88 Chambers St. in 1811 to serve as a source of income.
Once its sale to developer Joseph Sabbagh closes this fall, the church will put the proceeds in a trust fund – and use a small portion of it each year to fund outreach programs. Silver – whose lawyer was Adam Leitman Bailey – is now looking for a building to buy. He’s willing to rent only if he finds a storefront in a very busy shopping district.
He’d like to stay downtown, but will search all over the city for a new home. “I need to broaden my horizons,” he said.
The city’s sale of the lollipop building is moving forward, despite a pending appeal of a preservationists’ lawsuit. Manhattan’s borough board will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize the sale of famous – but not landmarked – 2 Columbus Circle, which got its nickname from its lollipop-shaped columns. The board is expected to give its approval, sources said. It’s the final government action required before the controversial sale can take place.
The buyer, the Museum of Arts & Design, plans to tear down the building’s white-marble facade – which infuriates preservationists. So does the board’s scheduling of the vote in late summer, when many of the lollipop building’s supporters are out of town. “This is a dog-day sneak attack,” said Landmark West’s Kate Wood.
High-rise apartment buildings are sprouting like sunflowers on the far western end of 42nd Street. The newest to put down roots – or foundations – is Gary Barnett’s 58-story project at 350 W. 42nd St. It will have 529 apartments.
Barnett owned another property across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal – but it was condemned for the New York Times headquarters that Bruce Ratner is building. Barnett’s current project site, near the corner of Ninth Avenue, may not be quite as sexy a location but it’s a nice consolation prize.