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Keep company! Plans for ‘castle’-like Sunset Park station house include condos, community center

The Brooklyn Paper
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It could be this castle’s fairy-tale ending.

The landmarked, keep-like 68th Precinct station house in Sunset Park may finally get a makeover after decades of decay. Owner Yosef Streicher plans to sink nearly $6 million into the crumbling building, which has been vacant since the 1970s, to return it to its former glory, the developer’s spokesman revealed on Jan. 7.

“The landmarked castle on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 43rd street in Brooklyn is a rare architectural and historic treasure,” Streicher spokesman Barry Shisgal said. “Mr. Streicher is planning to invest an additional $5 million in restoring the castle to its original glory.”

Streicher aims to put a high-end café and a community center in the century-old station house and build 10 glassy, luxury condos on an adjacent lot, Shisgal said.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the structure in 1983 and must approve changes to the building’s exterior, records show. The city sold it to a non-profit in 1985, stipulating it turn the site into a community center, according to the deed. But the group never made good. The property changed hands in 1999 and again in 2012, when the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association purchased the property intending to build a community center.

But it couldn’t cobble together the money to pay off outstanding buildings violations and restore the building per city landmarks guidelines. The structure continued to deteriorate, and the city threatened to sue the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association if it didn’t fix it up or sell. It unloaded the site to Streicher for $6 million last year, but the developer never returned this paper’s calls for comment.

The residential designs are preliminary — the latest rendition depicts a glass-façade building located in a strip of land behind the existing buildings that appears to have an entrance on 43rd Street. Streicher has not filed plans with the Department of Buildings, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The precinct building and its neighboring horse stable first opened in 1892. What will potentially become a community center was originally designed to strike fear in would-be criminals’ hearts, according to a former Brooklyn police honcho.

“A man about to commit a crime would stand appalled at the sight of a station house such as this,” said Brooklyn Police Commissioner Henry Hayden at the building’s 1892 unveiling, according to historic issues of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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Reasonable discourse

Me from Bay Ridge says:
Thank God something is being done to preserve that building. It would make a good library too.
Jan. 8, 2016, 6:12 pm
TOM MURPHY from Sunset Park says:
Wonderful news!

The owner pays $6 million for the land and the encumbered property, puts another $5 million(or is it $6 million) into the crumbling site, and builds-out an adjacent structure for luxury condos for an unstated sum. The extensive remediation of the facade must meet the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission's standards. From how the LMC treated the Green-Wood Cemetery plans for the re-build of the McGovern property last year, this may prove a real task.

The inclusion of a community-use facility allows benefits for the build-out, especially with the Mayor's housing proposals. I don't think affordable units are in the offing. With only ten housing units planned no off-street parking is required by the zoning. But buyers of luxury condos might want, expect and readily pay for a reserved parking spot in this locale which is already lacking on-street or even alternate off-street parking. Maybe even two spots?

Having starred at this "white elephant" for more than four decades at last this promises welcome relief. I wish you great success and do feel free to ask assistance. I'm not a potential buyer. I'm already 'limit-up' in Sunset Park real estate. Thank you.

Well I welcome them and hope they are successful. The Financial Times some time back profiled Sunset Park as the last affordable "brownstone" neighborhood in Brooklyn; although, it was lacking high-end restaurants. We do have Cafe Zona Sur adjacent to this site but I would characterize it as affordable high-end.
Jan. 8, 2016, 10:03 pm
John from Sunset Park says:
Glass condos on top of brick castle?

It sounds as ugly as the crap they built in front of Brooklyn Museum. But, I guess anything is an improvement.
Jan. 9, 2016, 1:26 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
"With only ten housing units planned" -- get ready for some hacktivists to demand some "affordable" units and let's not forget the domestic violence victims either.
Jan. 9, 2016, 6:58 am

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