EXCLUSIVE: 86th Street Nathan’s property in contract to be sold

Hot Dog!

The Nathan’s Famous franchise will sell its nearly 20,000-square-foot, decades-old location on the border of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights this summer, according to the company’s 2018 annual report.

“We have entered into an agreement to sell the Company-owned restaurant, including the real estate, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn NY in July 2018, which we expect to continue operating through September 2018, before it ceases operations,” the report reads, further stating that a $1.2 million deposit has already been put down on the property.

Pre-tax gross proceeds of the sale of the significantly underbuilt lot will come in at an estimated $12.25 million, according to the report.

The property, 650 86th Street, has been a Nathan’s since the late ‘70s, before which it was a fast food burger chain named Wetson’s and before that, Mitchell’s Drive-In. It also operates currently as an Arthur Treacher’s, specializing in fast food fish and chips.

Its sale, locals agreed, will be the end of an important chapter in southern Brooklyn history.

“I think it would be a very big change for 86th Street,” said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann. “Nathan’s has been a merchant that many have grown accustomed to having there and I think it would definitely be sad to see it go.”

Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, agreed.

“It’s always unfortunate when a business goes out in the community, especially when, in cases like this, it’s a business that has been there for many, many years,” she said. “We always hope that businesses will continue to thrive, so we’re certainly sad to see it go.”

The sale also raises the question, she said, of its replacement.

“There’s also the concern of what’s going to go there,” Vella-Marrone told this paper.

And, what goes there can be quite large. The vast majority of the site is zoned C4-2A, which is the equivalent of a R6A district, according to the Department of City Planning’s Zoning Handbook. Buildings in R6A districts can rise to 70 feet as of right, with a setback required above a base height of 40 to 60 feet.

The C4-2A designation also brings with it significant density with a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 3.0, with FAR being 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.

At this point, with plans still unclear for the site – and its buyer still unconfirmed, Beckmann told this paper she and the board will be “keeping a watchful eye” on what’s to come.

“The community would like to have something that’s going to have a positive impact,” Vella-Marrone added, “something that’s going to add to the community – not take from it.”

Reps for Nathan’s have not yet responded to this paper’s requests for comment or further information.

Helen Klein contributed reporting to this story.

Photo courtesy of Ted General
Photo courtesy of Ted General; Mitchell’s Drive-In, in a 1969 photo.

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