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Hungry for condos: Investors want to raze Emmons Avenue eateries

Flooded with offers: A trio of investors wants to snatch up two blocks of Emmons Avenue waterfront for condos.
Brooklyn Daily
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Developers are salivating over a strip of restaurants on Emmons Avenue’s waterfront, but property owners say a sale is off the table.

A trio of investors wants to gobble up a swath of the shoreline between E. 27th and E. 29th streets to build condos, the consortium’s surrogate told one unimpressed property owner.

“He tells me these people have $700 million and they’re buying all of Sheepshead Bay,” said Bobby Guarino, whose family collectively owns the building Il Fornetto occupies. “He said they want to buy everything from Il Fornetto to Stella Maris. We ain’t selling.”

The offer is more than a rumor, one area real estate broker said.

“I’m not denying what you’re saying,” said Allan Profeta of Premiere Properties, who refused to comment further citing client confidentiality. “Maybe down the road we’ll talk about it.”

The stretch in question includes three restaurants, a yacht club, a bait shop, and an empty lot — all zoned for residences up to four stories.

A new wave of immigrant developers has been hungrily eyeing that stretch of Emmons Avenue for some time, another insider said.

“That’s been going on for years,” a Sheepshead Bay real estate agent said on condition of anonymity. “They’re the ‘new Russians’ — that’s what we’ve been calling them over the last 10 years. I dunno where they’re getting their money from but they’re coming over here with this money and the average person can’t compete.”

But the monied bricklayers, who could not be reached for comment, may have to wait to erect their waterfront condo. Il Fornetto and Stella Maris aren’t going anywhere, managers said. And the marina is also moored firmly in place, according to one boating enthusiast.

“People make offers, but we don’t take anybody seriously,” said Ralph Pellizzi, a member of the Varuna Boat Club. “We’ve been here since 1875. The club owns the building, the property, and the docks — and the club is owned by members. We’re not about to do anything.”

A tide of development has washed over Sheepshead Bay in recent years — builders are turning the former El Greco Diner into condos, and a Manhattan builder is erecting a 40-story tower next to the Sheepshead Bay Road subway station.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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