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The Salvation Army officially opened the doors of its senior center at 7309-7321 18th Avenue this week, following the charity’s $12.75 million purchase of the property in March 2013.

The location is the former home of the 39,000-square-foot Cotillion Terrace catering hall, which closed up sometime in the last decade or so. Originally, the owners hoped to demolish the hall and develop condos. Those plans fell through, and the building has sat empty for several years, a haven for graffiti artists hitting up its boarded up doors.

As you can see in the photo above, which was taken Tuesday, Salvation Army still has some cleaning up to do. But from this write-up in the New York Times last week, it sounds like the senior center had to make a hasty retreat from its longtime home in Manhattan’s Bowery and relocated here.

When news first broke that the Salvation Army had purchased the property, it was reported at the time that it would become a large retail location. We hope to still see that come through, but that doesn’t yet appear to be the case.

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  • Brooklyn789

    Can we for once have a place that doesn’t display chinese?!?!?!? This is America for God’s sake! ENGLISH ONLY!

    • Steven

      I find your comment incredibly offensive as an American myself. People like you make “Americans” look stupid and discriminatory.

      • cboogz

        You’re more than welcome to leave and start an Aryan Nation.

    • bambi

      If you haven’t notice China already took over America you just don’t notice because you live under a rock

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Yep. It’s America, where there’s no national language, and business comes first.

  • Chris Turk

    Why aren’t there signs in Italian, too?

    • italian

      I agree. Are the Italians chop liver? wtf

    • Maye

      I grew up in Bensonhurst and still visit now. I feel like signs in Italian would make no sense as the Italian-speaking population there is relatively low to Spanish/Chinese/Russian/etc. Besides, most of the Italian population know English. I guess what I mean it that I don’t think it is a jab to the Italian population, it’s just what makes sense.

      Also, this Salvation Army is a branch that is relocating from Chinatown, so their programming is already largely catered to Chinese immigrants. I think that is why they chose Bensonhurst as their new location.

  • Giuseppe

    I agree. There are thousands of Italian speaking people within the surrounding avenues & blocks, the elderly Italians could benefit from the Salvation Army. Its only right that the signs should include ‘Parliamo Italiano’