The saga continues.
More than a year after permits were first filed on what was to be a new, six-story development at the former site of the storied Pipin’s Pub, the property has been sold to a new developer with new intentions, and for a record price.
As of last summer, the multi-million dollar project – which was supposed to encompasses 9701 Third Avenue as well as the long vacant site next door once occupied by J.T.’s Restaurant – was slated to include 20 apartments within 23,154 square feet of residential space on five floors, four per floor.
On the ground floor, Pipin’s – a multi-generational family business and mainstay in Bay Ridge that, since the initial sale, has relocated to a “pop-up” location at 9023 Third Avenue, the former home of Circles Grill – was eventually to have had its homecoming.
However, those plans have changed, according to Pipin’s co-owner Stephen Oliver.
“The deal fell through for the people we first shook hands with,” said Oliver, who owns and operates Pipin’s alongside family members Anthony Bartholomeo and Paul Pandolfi. Oliver explained that, with the deal taking much longer to come to fruition than all parties had imagined, changing tax abatement laws had prevented the original developer from moving ahead with what he referred to as a “short-term” plan.
From there, he said, anyone with an interest in buying the site (its building already demolished), “wanted nothing to do with a bar and restaurant.”
“We’re really up against a wall right now,” Oliver said, stressing that, while he and his partners are working to ensure a long-term lease at their current site, one thing is certain for the Pipin’s family as it gears up for the pub’s 50th anniversary next December — “We have full intentions of keeping the Pipin’s name going.”
Original plans for the development included outdoor parking for two cars, an eight-car garage underground, a roof deck and a rear yard for residents. The site is zoned R6A, which means apartment buildings as tall as 70 feet can be constructed (with a setback if the structure exceeds 60 feet), with a commercial overlay permitting businesses to occupy the first floor of the structure.
The site has an as-of-right floor area ratio (FAR) cap of 3.0, a measurement that reflects the ratio between the total floor area of the building and the square footage of the lot on which it is built. The higher the FAR, the denser the building.
Earlier this month, the corner property was sold to new buyers, with Bay Ridge realtor Charles Fabbella of Ben Bay Realty Company of Bay Ridge brokering the deal, for a record price of $6 million. Coming down the pipeline, he told this paper, are 20 high-end luxury condos. The current developers, he added, are reworking the site’s old drawings, “making it even more top-notch.”
The project, Fabbella added, “will absolutely benefit our community” and still include a commercial ground floor.
As for Pipin’s, Oliver said he and his team are currently pursuing at least a 10-to-12 year lease. “We want to put some money into the store; we want to make it the best that it can be,” he said, “but more than anything, we want to keep our Pipin’s family together.”
Pipin’s operated at the corner of 97th Street and Third Avenue from December, 1969 to August, 2015. It has been at its pop-up since October, 2015.
The coming condominium could be done in as soon as 18 months, according to Fabbella.