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No drug clinic at Bath Avenue site, building owner says

The owner of a Bath Beach building where a private firm is seeking to open a drug treatment center poured cold water on the plan and said she would not be renting the space to that company.

Diana Clemente reached out to the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator Monday evening after the newspapers’ website, Brooklyn Reporter posted an article about a proposal by an entity called Big Apple Bath Beach Inc. to open a chemical dependency program at 1751 Bath Ave.

“There will be no drug treatment center there,” said Clemente, who is also president of Big Apple Car Inc., the car service company housed in the Bath Avenue building.

Clemente said Big Apple Bath Beach Inc. had been seeking to rent the entire first floor but that she had decided instead to rent the space to a car and limousine service that will work in tandem with Big Apple Car Inc.

But Community Board 11 officials, who expressed a great deal of concern over the proposed drug treatment center, said they’re not breathing easier, even after Clemente’s statement.

Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said the board still has a lot of questions about the proposal and has invited representatives of Big Apple Bath Beach Inc. to speak at the board’s next meeting. “We asked them to give us a presentation at our April meeting,” Elias-Pavia said Tuesday.

As recently as Feb. 22, the plan to set up a drug treatment center still appeared to be viable, according to community board leaders.

Chairperson William Guarinello told board members at their March 14 meeting that the board received a letter on Feb. 22 in which a representative of Big Apple Bath Beach Inc. announced an intention to seek approval from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) open a chemical dependency program at 1751 Bath Ave.

Guarinello said his concern was heightened by the fact that it wasn’t clear from the letter if methadone or other medications would be dispensed to patients at the location, something the board would be dead set against.

The Bath Avenue location has come to the community board’s attention before in connection with a drug treatment program.

A representative of an entity known as G Cap Holdings contacted the community board in September of 2017 to describe plans to open a facility there to help drug users overcome their addictions. Elias-Pavia said the community board was left with the impression that the facility would primarily function as a counseling center and that medications would not be dispensed at the location.

The board voted to send a letter of “no objection” to the proposal. But the board also added a proviso saying that it strongly preferred that the program concentrate on counseling services.

The board was later notified that G Cap Holdings had changed its name to Big Apple Bath Beach Inc., Guarinello said.

The Bath Avenue site is not a good location for a full-fledged drug treatment center, according to Guarinelo, who said the building is located in the vicinity of churches and schools, he said.

“We don’t think it’s the right place,” Guarinello said.

Community boards serve in a strictly advisory capacity and cannot stop a facility from opening.

Evan Frost, a spokesperson at OASAS, told this paper that the agency has not received an application pertaining to the Bath Avenue site.

Representatives of Big Apple Bath Beach Inc. could not be reached for comment.

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