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Dyker Residents Wary of Impending Development at Angel Guardian Home

Permits have been filed for a new three-story building at the site of the storied Angel Guardian Home in Dyker Heights, according to the Department of Buildings (DOB) and, while reports sound nice, residents are still worry they might not come to fruition.

Though the current filings already appear to have been disapproved by DOB plan examiners, moves are at least being made as the site’s prior owners, the Sisters of Mercy, just last month closed a $37.5 million deal on the massive property, located at 6301 12th Avenue, as the Brooklyn Daily first reported.

According to the Daily, the site’s developer, Scott Barone, has said he stands by plans to build “market-rate, affordable, and senior housing on the property, along with a school,” and “luxury senior living,” while also keeping its main building, which locals repeatedly pushed to landmark.

Barone has also pledged to build underground parking with about 100 spaces, the Daily reported, which also said that Barone has offered the Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens a 10-year-lease for the now-shuttered Narrows Senior Center.

The structure was built in 1902, according to city records, and served as an extension of the Convent of Mercy, housing hundreds of orphans and eventually acting as a formal adoption agency until the 1970s.

In 2003, the Angel Guardian Home merged with St. Mary’s of the Angels Home to form the MercyFirst network of agencies. Up until late last year, the campus – which spans the entire block – housed the offices for the Sisters’ foster care program as well as the senior center, which closed its doors despite community pushback in May.

According to YIMBY, initial filings were for a 30-foot tall structure which would also include a swimming pool, indoor recreation space and rooftop terrace, though there is no sign of such amenities in any of the recent applications.

Residents say all of that is just not possible.

“We think he’s full of it,” said one neighbor to the property who requested anonymity when speaking to this paper. “It’s too much to promise.”

When asked why another owner’s name is listed on the filings (Barone’s is nowhere to be found on any of the three initial permit applications, though a Sugnam Chang is listed as the applicant and a Guan Y. Li as the property’s owner), a representative of Barone’s confirmed the Daily’s reports of the developer’s intentions, and chalked his absence on all paperwork up to the project’s early stages.

“The project in Dyker Heights will consist of a school component, senior housing, market rate condos and affordable rentals. Barone Management will oversee the development of the school and senior housing components while a Barone Management affiliate, Basic Groups Corp., will oversee the development of the condominium and rental homes,” the rep said. “There will be several filings with the DOB in the coming months.”

Chang is affiliated with Basic Groups Corp, according to the current filings, though Li is listed as president of another entity called “12th Ave Real Property LLC.”

It is unconfirmed, though speculated, that the Chang in question is the developer tied to McSam Hotel Group, known for constructing large-scale projects.

However, a search on the city’s Department of Technology and Telecommunications website lists the owners as a trio of LLCs — “JJ SS DH LLC,” “Sunshine Brooklyn LLC” and “12th Ave Real Property LLC” — only the last of which appears on the current filings.

“We just want some answers, and some transparency,” said a neighbor, who also said she wondered why the project had not yet been calendared by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which had agreed earlier this year to study the venerable home for potential landmarking.  “We protested and we protested and now, there are all these meetings that we’re not a part of. We just want to know what’s going on.”

By press time, LPC had not responded to a request for comment/more information.

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