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Archive for the tag 'commercial real estate'

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

The new BJ’s Wholesale Club in Bensonhurst will open its doors to shoppers for the first time this Saturday, September 13, Bensonhurst Bean has learned.

The big box retailer’s latest location at 1752 Shore Parkway, near Ceasar’s Bay, will be open for business beginning at 9am, but the grand opening celebrations are not slated until a week later, on Saturday, September 20. A representative for the company said they’ll be partying that day with “lots of food” in the form of sample carts, as well as other festivities and a ribbon cutting with local elected officials.

BJ’s was originally slated to open July 12. Construction delays, however, pushed it back to the September date.

The retailer will occupy the ground floor of a 200,000-square-foot space at 1752 Shore Parkway known as the Bay Center. The center will be two stories tall with commercial units above the BJs. The project is being developed by Thor Equities.

Construction kicked off in December 2012.

BJ’s will be open 9am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 8pm on Sundays.

dunkin-bhurst

It looks like a Dunkin’ Donuts is set to come soon to 2021 Cropsey Avenue, at the corner of Bay 25th Street.

We spotted the banner up last week, although it doesn’t look like any plans have yet been filed with the Department of Buildings. And if it’s a new owner for the 4,450-square-foot lot, the sale hasn’t hit the city’s online database.

Dunkin’ Donuts will replace Auto Center America, a short-lived mechanic’s shop that replaced Double Diamond Limousines.

Whether people are a fan of Dunkin’ coffee or not, neighbors will likely appreciate the lot being put back to use and better maintained than its current state.

vitaminshoppe

The Vitamin Shoppe opened its doors at 2005 86th Street about three weeks ago, looking to capitalize off the new rush of fitness fans patronizing Planet Fitness next door.

The business replaces London Fashion Shoes, which closed for good earlier this year.

It’s hard not to note the unique facade of the building. It has served as a retail location for many years, but some research reveals what many neighborhood oldtimers probably know: it’s the former site of the Benson Twins Theater. Here’s how it looked in the 1980s, as captured by the Department of Finance tax photos:

benson-theater

Although the theater once took up the entire site of what today is The Vitamin Shoppe and Planet Fitness, by the 1980s, as you can see, it was already split up for a retail location.

But just how old is it? Fortunately, CinemaTreasures has that info on hand:

Opened as the Benson Theatre on September 15, 1921, it was a 1,400 seat theatre, located in the shadows of the elevated subway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Designed by architects George Keister & Libman. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual, 6 ranks organ. It was run as a dollar theatre by the Golden Theatre chain before it was twinned by splitting it down the middle and renamed Benson Twins with seating for 588 and 400.

Subsequently, it became a first run house. In the final days, it was closed more than it was open, and was closed in 1988 for its current retail use.

According to city records, it came under the ownership of a new company called Benson Theatre Corp in 1972, which is about when it was renamed.

Unfortunately, with the overhaul of the facade by Planet Fitness, little remains of the original theater’s architecture. But eagle-eyed passersby will catch a glimps of the original “B” insignia, and the comedy and tragedy masks above The Vitamin Shoppe. Here’s a photo, but Forgotten NY has an even better one:

benson-facade

Source: Alexander Rabb/Flickr

The owner of the landmarked Shore Theater has been declining all proposals to rehabilitate and reactivate the building, including one by a Manhattan restaurateur to turn it into a sprawling restaurant and culinary school.

The 1301 Surf Avenue building was inherited by Jasmine Bullard following the 2013 death of her father, Horace, a Coney Island visionary who long fought to revitalize the neighborhood during its darkest days. Although the building was on the market at the time of his death, Bullard has declined to hear out would-be buyers, Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“I have clients who are ready, willing and able to write a check for the Shore today,” broker Joe Vitacco told Eye on Real Estate.

He has tried to submit purchase offers to her, but in vain: “She won’t even look at them.”

Vitacco said he has four “solid” suitors for the Shore Theater:

* A “very well known restaurateur” from Manhattan who wants to build a cooking school downstairs and a restaurant on the top two floors.

“The view from the seventh floor is magnificent,” he said, and there’s a Juliet balcony where diners would be able to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones playing baseball at MCU Park.

* A “nationally known athlete” who would turn the Shore back into a movie theater — and no, it’s not Magic Johnson (who isn’t actively involved in Magic Johnson Theatres’ operations these days, anyway).

* A billionaire with a home in Brooklyn who “thinks it’s a beautiful building and should be restored,” Vitacco said.

This interested party made an offer when Horace Bullard was alive, but it wasn’t high enough. Now, “he’s willing to come to the table with more money,” the broker said.

* A real estate developer who is involved in Coney Island.

Vitacco marketed Horace Bullard’s properties for about a decade. When the Shore was Vitacco’s listing, the asking price was $12 million.

It is estimated that it will take approximately $35 million to renovate the 115,000-square-foot, seven-story structure.

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

The opening date for the BJ’s Wholesale Club at 1752 Shore Parkway has been pushed back due to construction delays, Bensonhurst Bean has learned.

(UPDATE: When will Bensonhurst’s BJ’s open? September 13!)

The Bensonhurst location, near Ceasar’s Bay, was slated to open July 12. But a representative for the company informed Bensonhurst Bean yesterday that they’re still putting the finishing touches on the location, and will be opening doors on an unspecified date in September.

The big box store will occupy the ground floor of a 200,000-square-foot space at 1752 Shore Parkway that will be known as the Bay Center. The center will be two stories tall with commercial units above the BJs. The project is being developed by Thor Equities and is expected to be completed sometime in 2014.

Construction kicked off in December 2012.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

A three-story building at 6923 18th Avenue, on the corner of 70th Street, has been scooped up by Cheng Shi, a developer who plans to expand the property’s retail offerings, as well as build new medical offices.

The deal closed last month for $1.98 million, negotiated by Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates broker Jeffrey Unger. (Note: city records indicate a sale price of $990,000. We contacted the broker, who provided the $1.98 million figure, for confirmation and will update when we hear back.)

Shi plans to renovate the building, with two ground-floor retail spaces and medical and dental offices on the second and third floors.

The building currently sports just shy of 4,800 square feet of space, split equally for retail, office and residential uses, according to PropertyShark. It was built in 1931, and sits a 20-foot-by-80-foot lot. No plans for construction have yet been filed with the Department of Building, according to the agency’s website.

UPDATE (12:13 p.m.): We confirmed the price, and a strikeout has been added above.

Rendering of the proposed Eighth Avenue Center by Raymond Chan. Source: World Journal via Voices of NY

Rendering of the proposed Eighth Avenue Center by Raymond Chan. Source: World Journal via Voices of NY

A group of Chinese developers are looking to erect a mall, office building, hotel and residential complex on the border of Sunset Park and Dyker Heights, where they recently plunked down $51.5 million for the land.

The project, tentatively named Eighth Avenue Center, is slated for 6208 8th Avenue. The 160,700-square-foot site is currently a parking lot abutting the N line. When construction wraps up, the owners expect to see five buildings packing in a total of 1.1 million square feet of space.

World Journal, translated by Voices of New York, reports:

Raymond Chan, a co-developer whose architecture firm will design the project, said that because of zoning restrictions, this piece of land is the only lot in the Eighth Avenue neighborhood in Brooklyn that can be used for large-scale development. The project will not only alter the skyline of the neighborhood but also bring great changes in the dynamic of the Chinese community in Brooklyn.

“Today’s Eighth Avenue is like Flushing 15 years ago,” said Chan. He said that as a rapidly establishing Chinese neighborhood, the Eighth Avenue area has huge potential for development. So he and several other Chinese developers pooled together $50 million to purchase the land from Jewish developer Andy Cohen. They plan to build one mixed-use building of three floors of underground parking space, three floors of shopping area, and an activity center for community organizations, one 17-floor office building, one seven-floor and 150-room hotel, and two 15-floor residential condos.

Chan said for the only lot that is zoned C4-3 for large-scale development in the neighborhood, the price of $50 million was reasonable. He said the deal closed May 21. The plan is subject to change pending community board approval.

The lot appears to straddle the jurisdictions of Community Board 7 and Community Board 10, so they may need joint approval.

The owners told the publication that they hope to begin construction in the spring.

An aerial view of 6208 8th Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

An aerial view of 6208 8th Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

salvation-army2

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.

salvation-army

bjs

(UPDATE: When will Bensonhurst’s BJ’s open? September 13!)

UPDATE (July 15, 2015): Due to construction delays, the opening has been pushed back to September.

Original post.

Tipster Alina Tsui sent us the above photo of a flier, announcing that the new BJ’s Wholesale Club will open doors on July 12.

As we’ve previously reported, the megastore will occupy the ground floor of a 200,000-square-foot space at 1752 Shore Parkway that will be known as the Bay Center. The center will be two stories tall with commercial units above the BJs. The project is being developed by Thor Equities and is expected to be completed sometime in 2014. The time table for construction was sped up to spur jobs in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Construction kicked off in December 2012, and appeared to be coming along by July 2013.

BJ’s is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area, but critics have also expressed concern that it will siphon away business from the neighborhood’s existing commercial corridors.

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.

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