According to The Local East Village, BFC Partners are presenting plans to Community Board 3 to build low-income housing on 9 and 11-17 Second Avenue. The project would operate under the inclusionary housing program, where permanently affordable housing would be created with a tenant's option to buy for $1 and $10. And while we're all for $1 apartments in the East Village, is the project worth it if we're going to lose the inimitable dive Mars Bar for two years, only to see it reopen without the decades of beloved, accumulated... shit.
The project, which would result in a 12-story, 4,000 sq. ft. building with about 12 low-income units and 48 market value units, would force a temporary closure of the dive. But before you get all Ruby's on us, owner Hank Penza has given his total support to the project. "They won’t choke me." he said. "I didn’t get off the boat yesterday with a pound of spaghetti in my hand." He also seemed excited that after the closure, he would reopen the bar in a space about three times as large. In other words, it would be Mars Bar in name only. If the plan is approved construction could begin as early as next summer, so if you're harboring any morbid curiosity about grabbing a 3 a.m. shot of Jack at the graffitied watering hole, the time to act is now!