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Archive for the tag 'commercial real estate'

Source: BPL

Source: BPL

The Brooklyn Public Library is pursuing a bid to buy the property currently leased for the McKinley Park branch (6802 Fort Hamilton Parkway), but has struggled to strike a deal with the landlord. The city is now considering going over the landlord’s head using the power of eminent domain to seize it for the public’s good.

The Daily News reports:

The Brooklyn Public Library is making a bid to seize the Dyker Heights building that houses its McKinley Park branch, threatening to use the power of eminent domain after the owners scoffed at its $2.4 million offer to buy the property.

… The library’s $20,000-per-month lease for the McKinley Park branch expires in June. If the city takes it over, the library would save money on rent and utilities.

The McKinley branch is one of just seven in the 60-branch system that remains on private land. The city is also hoping to buy the property that houses the Gravesend branch (303 Avenue X) when its lease comes up this year.

According to the paper, the city made its offer in September. It’s owned by a trust overseen by an Arizona-based bank, which has been raising rents in recent years in an attempt to bring it to market rate. That’s been an increased burden for the cash-strapped system.

Brooklyn Paper notes that the leasing agreement has caused the library to delay needed maintenance work:

The library has been putting off more than $5 million in needed plumbing work, roof repairs, window replacement and other basic repairs at McKinley for years to avoid investing scarce resources in a facility it does not own.

Eminent domain allows the government to seize private property to be used for the public interest. The owner of the property is paid “fair market value” in such a case.

McKinley Park branch originally opened in 1911 at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 70th Street in a 1,500 square foot storefront. It opened in its current 7,425 square foot location in 1959 and was renovated in 1995.


It’s several months later than expected, but at least part of the new 7-Eleven coming to Cropsey Avenue and 20th Avenue is now open.

Our Elle Spektor filled us in that the gas station portion of the operation is now open to customers. Work at the site stopped or slowed for several months, but Spektor reports to Bean that workers were inside the store yesterday and construction is moving forward.

We first announced plans to bring the franchise convenience store to the area way back in July 2013, where it replaces a Shell gas station.

In late September, we revisited the site and noted the soon-to-open A-Plus/Sunoco on 19th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue. Those working on construction at the 7-Eleven told us at the time that it would be open within a week.

The future site of 7-Eleven

The 7-Eleven site in September, when workers told the Bean that they would be open in one week.


Brownstoner recently received a tip that a group of Chinese investors bought the hulking 45,688-square-foot property at 2300 Cropsey Avenue at 23rd Avenue for $18,500,000. The site has long been derelict, overgrown with weeds and littered with debris, and the sale price is a whopping $6 million more than predicted when it hit the market last year.

The location currently has a six-story building that is zoned as a nursing home but the interior has been completely demolished. It was once the facilities for the Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation, which moved next door several years ago when they completed a new building.

The property also has an interesting history, as we noted when we reported that the building was for sale last year:

Alexander Gurevich, the [most recent] owner of the 45,688-square-foot space planned to build a multi-functioning unit with underground parking, housing and office space, according to The Real Deal. However, he defaulted on the remaining $17 million loan balance and the property went into bank holding.

Gurevich’s ownership of the property is further complicated by his legal issues. In 2010, Gurevich was banned from selling condos or co-op units in New York for 3 years because he was accused of deceiving buyers in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay condo sale.

Back in 2010, the site had 38 active violations issued by Department of Buildings. According to the Beehive Hairdresser, this gained the site the not so impressive record of holding the most violations from the DOB in Brooklyn. It’s also been a source of community discontent for quite some time: Bensonhurst Bean regularly receives e-mails describing the site as blighted and a drag on the area’s quality of life.

The future site of 7-Eleven

The future site of 7-Eleven

Two gas station/food mart combos are opening one week apart, one block apart, in Bath Beach.

The first, a 7-Eleven/Shell Gas Station, at 20th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue is scheduled to open in one week.

The second, an A-Plus/Sunoco, standing at 19th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue, is opening its doors the first week of October.

Both stores will be open 24/7.

Altaf M., the manager of the A-Plus, said that he’s excited to be back in business in Bath Beach. After 13 years managing the former shop at the same address, he said that he missed the “nice customers” of the neighborhood.

He said that the A-Plus will offer fresh coffee, hot dogs and nachos, and icy drinks, adding that the store will have promotions for Bensonhurst locals during it’s grand opening.

The 7-Eleven project manager was unavailable for comment, but his team told us that they were excited to bring the franchise to the Bath Beach community.

When did a little friendly competition ever hurt anybody? Welcome to the neighborhood, fellas.

The future site of A Plus

The future site of A Plus


20th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

20th Ave and Cropsey Ave (Source: Google Maps)

A 7-Eleven franchise will soon arrive in the heart of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst Bean has learned.

The empty husk of a former Shell gas station and food mart on 20th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue is undergoing an overhaul, eventually to relaunch as a 7-Eleven. It would be the first location of the national franchise in Bath Beach, with the next nearest at 2515 86th Street.

7-Eleven Project Manager Carmelo Saia declined to give an estimated opening date, but we’ll be sure to report it when we find out.

Welcome to the neighborhood, 7-Eleven!


The Salvation Army has bought the former Cotillion Terrace catering hall at 7309-7321 18th Avenue for $12.75 million, with plans to make it a large retail location.

The two-story building boasts 39,000 square feet, and was recently gutted. The Cotillion Terrace closed sometime in the last decade – we honestly can’t remember when – and reports in the Village Voice indicated that the owners planned to demolish the club to create condos and a smaller venue.

Those plans fell through, and the building has sat empty for several years, a haven for graffiti artists hitting up its boarded up doors.

The Cotillion itself opened up in 1958, but the real star tenant of this building was its predecessor, the Senate Theatre.

The Senate opened in 1926 at a ceremony attended by Mayor James Walker. The venue boasted 1,175 seats, including orchestra and balcony levels, and 1927 saw the installation of a Wurlizter 2 manual 10 rank theatre organ.

As the stage gave way to the screen, the Senate Theatre ran second-run movies until it closed.

Here’s how Forgotten NY‘s webmaster, who visited the theater as a child, remembered it:

It was a fairly spacious house with three blocks of seats seperated by four aisles. The interior was done in light green and white and featured columns and decorative plasterwork throughout the interior. … There was a seperate entrance from the lobby to the orchestra, and the screen was large. The theater also had a domed ceiling…This theater was 10 blocks away from the more opulent Walker and 9 blocks away from the dumpy Colony. it was also close to the little but neat Hollywood and the majestic Oriental. This theater had air conditioning and a sign over the entrance said “cooled by refrigeration”.

Rest in Peace, State and Cotillion. We may never see the likes of large catering halls or theaters in this neighborhood again, but at least we can soon buy some second-hand goods in your hallowed interior.

Photo by Susan Armitage

When John Sandano learned in September that the owners of Maple Lanes were in contract to sell the property the bowling alley sits on to a developer, he mourned the loss of his “home away from home,” where he’s been a regular bowler for more than 25 years.

“A lot of people are going to miss this place,” said Sandano, 67, of Bensonhurst.

But in his loss, others in the community may find new homes of their own. Plans to replace Maple Lanes with a 112-unit residential development is likely to advance to the next frame.

On December 19, the City Planning Commission held a public hearing on the zoning change requested by the developer, Fairmont Lanes, LLC. Maple Lanes, at 1570 60th Street, near the Borough Park-Bensonhurst border, is in an area currently zoned for manufacturing, not residential use.

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New York City auctioned off 32 borough-wide city properties on May 10.

Most of the properties are unused vacant lots. There were some buildings up for grabs. One such is located in the Classon Point area of the Bronx.

A Gravesend 50ft X 173ft irregularly-shaped lot at Avenue X and Boynton Place was available for the minimum upset price of $780K.

This auction was the first of this type in six years. If every property sold, it would have net the city $6.7M in profits, according to

Buyers were required to put down at least 20 percent of the asking price.

So far no word has been released as to which properties were bought and which remain.

1621 East 61st Street

Massey Knakal Realty Services made a $1.7M sale on a vacant lot at 1621 East 61st Street. The 8,000 square foot site also has a 6,000 square foot commercial building ready for use.

“The buyer plans on building a synagogue on the site,” said Vice President of Sales Jeffrey A. Shalom in a press release.

“We expect more industrial properties in the area to be converted to other uses such as community centers, houses of worships, medical facilities and retail uses,” added Shalom.


2300 Cropsey Avenue Real Estate

Source: JMazzolaa via Flickr

The large abandoned site at 2300 Cropsey Avenue is set to hit the market. Swedbank, the current property holder, will soon begin taking bids on the space.  Swedbank is a Swedish bank that holds several defaulted mortgages, most of which they acquired from Lehman Brothers.

Alexander Gurevich, the initial owner of the 45,688-square-foot space planned to build a multi-functioning unit with underground parking, housing and office space, according to The Real Deal. However, he defaulted on the remaining $17 million loan balance and the property went into bank holding.

Gurevich’s ownership of the property is further complicated by his legal issues. In 2010, Gurevich was banned from selling condos or co-op units in New York for 3 years because he was accused of deceiving buyers in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay condo sale.

Associates at Massey Knakal Realty Services are also working to sell the site privately on behalf of Gurevich. Investors predict the site will go for $12 to $13 million.

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