New owners say MTA’s Smith Street shaft will be an eyesore no more

The Brooklyn Paper
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A team of luxury condo architects will morph a much-bemoaned Smith Street monolith into a posh mixed-use building.

The MTA has sold its drab, two-story building at Wyckoff Street for $3.5 million — and the plans call for residential and commercial units at the site.

The buyer has since commissioned Manhattan-based Grasso-Menziuso Architects — a firm known for its sprawling yellow beachfront condos in Queens for the project.

The windowless two-story building — once dubbed the “top 10 ugliest” in the city — went on the market three years ago, when neighbors feared it would become a McDonald’s.

An agent with the architecture group promised on Friday that it would not become a fast-food joint — although the only detail he would provide was a vague reassurance.

“We are proud of all of our projects,” he said.

The firm’s past buildings are neither loved or loathed and include Belle Shores Condominium, sprawling yellow condos in southern Queens, and the brick-front Cleveland-Pitkin Homes in East New York.

City building records note plans for the site — at 166 Smith St. — include demolition and “altered additions,” such as easements and ventilation shafts.

Whatever happens to the site will likely to be an improvement — at least aesthetically: In 2008, AM New York put the building on its “10 to Lose” list, which names the 10 ugliest buildings in the city. Writers at the time joked the concrete-encased eyesore appeared to be able to “withstand a nuclear blast.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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