Brooklyn Lyceum Owner Pushes Back Against Foreclosure

According to an article in DNAinfo, the owner of the Brooklyn Lyceum, the long-standing arts venue in the historic public bath building on 4th Avenue, is trying to rally support to try to fend off a pending foreclosure auction at the end of this month. On the Lyceum website, the owner, Eric Richmond, says that much of $5 million owed stems from a dispute with his former architect Jean Miele over a next-door lot and what Richmond claims are “exorbitant architectural fees and interest.” He says that the landmarked building might become a Duane Reade–perhaps he’s been reading our coverage where that speculation was the topic of a long thread of comments. Richmond has asked supporters to attend a hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court on February 19.

Brooklyn Luceum Owner Warns That Venue Could Become Duane Reade [DNAinfo]

Photo Via PropertyShark

25 Comment

  • daveinbedstuy

    A dispute with your architect is no reason not to pay your mortgage.

  • no-permits

    this guy sounds crazy.

    “Richmond has asked supporters to attend a hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court on February 19.”

    what will that do besides get people arrested?

  • Dirty Hipster is owed the broker fee for sealing the Duane Reade deal.

  • “He says that the landmarked building might become a Duane Reade–perhaps he’s been reading our coverage where that speculation was the topic of a long thread of comments”

    I called it.

    Aren’t you all glad you get to experience my wisdom for free?

  • no-permits

    this building deserves better treatment. richmond, let it go or get your sh*t together and do something with it.

    like others suggested: trader joes, a drug store or a *real* concert venue, a theater. there are tons of ways to repurpose this building.

  • The guy has lost all sense. He owes 5+M and is nearing the end of foreclosure process (auction), If he had any brains he’d go to the morgagee and give up title in exchange for some $ (the building is likely worth more than the debt), otherwise he is going to lose the property and get nothing.
    Bringing a bunch of people down to a foreclosure hearing will do NOTHING. Delinquent mortgage loans are forgiven because people like or support you….

  • expert_textpert

    “Aren’t you all glad you get to experience my wisdom for free? ”

    YES! and your great parenting advice!

  • If they wanted to create an art space with public support they would have created a non-profit organization years ago and accepted donations. This was a profit-making venture by someone who never learned how to make a profit. And now he acts like the hideous specter of a Dunae Reade threatens the neighborhood. Who says it would have to be a Duane Reade? Why not an Apple Store? Or another, better arts venue? The building is landmarked; it’s protected from demolition or defacement, but it’s not protected from indifferent owners.

  • This is the kinda dude who runs to Kickstarter about now.

  • mrsmansonmingott

    A Duane Reade? Oh, heavens. Whatever will we do? Surely Urban Outitters will take an interest?

    Five million does seem like a naughty bout of bill padding, but it’s not the bank’s fault.

  • Is this the same owner who bought it from the city at auction?

  • Dude couldn’t even keep toilet paper stocked in jury-rigged semi-functional bathrooms… and he thinks he can fight a big banks lawyers?? HA! Time to let the train wreck go, Eric.

  • I have to say something. I did not leave the lyceum on good terms, I left mostly broke and in a blaze of glory. I do not agree with the way the man ran his business but I can’t stand listening to people who know nothing about it make assumptions. He was not a profit monger, he had good ideals, his heart was in the right place but he was stubborn and inflexible and had the business acumen of a gnat. He never had the capital to give things what they needed but he never was out for a huge profit, he was not greedy, he made a bunch of really stupid gambles that did not work out in his favor. I wish he had done things differently long before i knew him, I wish he had budgeted and worked within his means. He had big ideas and he just wasn’t realistic about what it would take to see them through. That said It really makes me ill that you all want it to be something generic. Shame on every one of you. New York needs cultural institutions, we need community forums. We need a local arts scene. The people who want it to be a duane read act like there arent two rite aids and a TARGET within ten blocks. Yes its totally reasonable to kill an arts institution so you can avoid walking ten blocks. I know this situation intimately and I would be lying if I said that when I first heard about it the angry, slighted part of me wasn’t happy to see the devil get his due. With a week to let it set in I had to remind myself he was never the devil, and if he doesn’t get to keep the building, there is no winner. You don’t win, you just get cold medicine without having to move. The community loses alot. Your kids lose. Local vendors lose.

    The Brooklyn Lyceum was my magic treehouse. The whole neighborhood walked through the door just to have coffee and hang out. People love the productions there. Yes it was not always comfortable or temeperate…it was an old as building. It was a place where literally anything could come to fruition if you worked hard enough to see through your vision. There are not any places, certainly of that size that would allow that. And I will take that building crumbling to pebbles with nascent dreams still brewing inside before a brightly lit Urban with a sale on acid wash shorts for braindead hipster bots. Shame on all of you, every one. I hate that this is happening and I wish with all of my heart it could be different.

  • East New York

    This Eric guy should reach out to Daniel Goldstein. He can stop…oh, nevermind!

  • East New York

    “The Brooklyn Lyceum was my magic treehouse. The whole neighborhood walked through the door just to have coffee and hang out. People love the productions there. Yes it was not always comfortable or temeperate…it was an old as building. It was a place where literally anything could come to fruition if you worked hard enough to see through your vision.”

    **

    Yeah but it wasn’t making any money MAN.

  • They could have made a fortune. Put in the biggest daycare in the neighborhood, right next to the subway. Use the space at night for cultural events & catering. I agree that this magnificent space never stood a chance with the current owner because they were way under capitalized.