Demolition work might be proceeding on a Sheepshead Bay property, but it still remains uncertain what will one day take rise on this massive site.
Workers have been demolishing a small building on the two-acre site, comprising 1600 Sheepshead Bay Road and 1501 Voorhies Avenue. The site was once home to Verizon.
The site was purchased last year by Acadia Realty Trust for $20.3 million, a sale representing the largest real estate transaction in the neighborhood in 20 years.
Acadia’s development partner is P/A Associates. Together, the pair is also building Canarsie Plaza, which could see the arrival of a 126,000-square-foot Home Depot near the Brooklyn Terminal Market.
“We are cleaning stuff up that needed to be cleaned,” P/A Associate’s Carolyn Malinsky said of the activity at the site.
She said the work did not amount to an environmental clean-up. “It’s just debris. There was a small builidng on the site,” she added.
Malinsky said she had no announcement to make regarding a future tenant, especially because there isn’t a signed lease.
It has been rumored that Best Buy, the consumer electronics retailer, might be interested in leasing space at the site, but the company and the developers have yet to announce anything concrete.
Also rumored is a 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot health club and other retail uses.
No plans have yet been filed with the Department of City Planning, an agency spokesperson said.
Theresa Scavo, the chair of Community Board 15, said she stopped by the site and talked to one of the workers, who confirmed that they were just “going to clean the place up.”
She worried that a large retail development there will be “a disaster in the making.”
“You have the entrance to the store, a train station, a bus stop, and an exit of the Belt Parkway—all on narrow Voorhies Avenue,” she said.
“It’s really going to cause traffic snarls,” she added.
The site holds nearly 330,000 commercial buildable square feet, or almost 235,000 residential buildable square feet, according to Massey Knakal Realty, which exclusively handled the sale of the property.
The Sheepshead Bay Road property holds 12,709 square feet of land with a 11,870 square foot, two-story building with five retail stores, five offices, and one residential apartment. All of the commercial leases expire by July 2010.
Last year, White Plains-based Acadia released an investor relations report saying that the preliminary redevelopment plan for the Sheepshead Bay project is to develop up to 240,000 square feet of retail.