Nathan’s Famous, at 650 86th St., grilled its last hot dogs on Jan. 6, 2019 and was sold to the NYC School Construction Authority by Allied Properties for $25 million that June. Although some asbestos abatement work was done, the building had been sitting idle and had become an eyesore.
Recently, the SCA hired AMG Demolition, Inc. of Melville, N.Y., to finally take down the derelict structure and pave the way for a five-story, 550-seat public middle school, designated I.S. 322, which won’t be completed until September 2024. The Empire State Building, by comparison, was completed in one year and 45 days.
Nathan’s, with its drive-through window and large parking lot, was a popular destination for more than 40 years. Previously the site was the home of Mitchell’s Drive-in – which featured female carhops on roller skates delivering fast food to parked cars – and later Wetson’s Hamburgers.
The site for the new school sits on 20,000 square feet stretching along 86th Street between Battery and Seventh Avenues. The SCA has yet to announce when a groundbreaking ceremony will take place.
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Professor Thomas J. Campanella was the guest speaker at the December meeting of the Bay Ridge Historical Society. The Brooklyn native and author of “Brooklyn, the Once and Future City,” spoke about historic efforts to turn Jamaica Bay into a world-class harbor. This was the last BRHS meeting for 2021. President Tom McCarthy said the spring session of meetings will begin in March.
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I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year.