The saga continues for the former 68th Precinct building in Sunset Park at Fourth Avenue and 43rd Street.
There’s a new owner for the now dilapidated building that was landmarked in 1983 and has undergone several owners and plans that have failed to come to fruition.
Real estate brokerage firm TerraCRG, announced the sale of the structure, for $6 million to Brooklyn landlord and active developer Yosef Streicher, who paid the sizable sum for the three-story building that was built in 1886 and is listed as containing 14,040 square feet.
“TerraCRG is excited that that the property is in a buyer’s hands with the capability to restore to its former state,” Director of Public Relations and Marketing for TerraCRG Lily Becker told The Home Reporter.
Although many residents hope that the graffiti-filled and boarded-up building will be transformed into a space that benefits the Sunset community, the use of the building remains a mystery. “I am not sure what the plans are, if any exist,” said Becker. “The building requires a full renovation and was in disrepair at the time of the sale.”
Becker did hint at possible housing, explaining that the property was “zoned in a fashion that might allow for condos,” adding, “but I am unsure of the intended use.”
Some have expressed concern regarding a lack of clarity for the plans. “There is still a great deal of misinformation about the building,” said Sunset Park Restoration Executive Director and founder of Sunset Parker, Tony Giordano, who pointed out that, “Some folks believe the exterior can be altered or that the building can have additional floors added to it. This is impossible under Landmarks laws.”
Nonetheless, despite the lack of information, there is optimism about the structure’s future. “First, we are happy that the building is back on the tax rolls contributing to the city,” said Giordano. “And second, we believe we will see the building’s exterior restored so it will be here for many generations to enjoy. Like many Sunset Parkers, I would love to see the building returned to community use, but I’m realistic and will be happy to see it used as a living example of our community’s past.”
Transforming the building has been attempted for years, with little success and plenty of controversy.
In 1999, non-profit organization the Brooklyn Chinese American Association (BCAA) bought the space with the intention of turning the old precinct into a community center. However, there was minimal progress made towards fixing the building and turning it into a useful space for the community, to the point that the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) had planned to sue the BCAA before Streicher purchased the space.
At the time of press, Streicher couldn’t be reached for comment.