6-Story, 5-Unit Residential Building Planned
by Linda Collins
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The building occupied by this newspaper and its affiliated weeklies for more than a decade has been sold and a new building will be constructed on the site.
An application has been filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB) for a six-story, 65-foot-tall residential building on the site, at 30 Henry St., corner of Middagh Street in the North Heights.
The application has been assigned to a DOB plan examiner but the plans will not receive a permit to proceed until the new owners and their architect obtain the necessary approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The height of the proposed new building will likely be an issue for local organizations and nearby residents since the property sits within the historic district’s 50-foot height limit.
According to the Eagle’s publisher, Dozier Hasty, the building was sold to the Fortis Group, which has notified him that the newspaper must vacate the building by the end of January.
“By the end of November, we can announce our plans for our new location,” Hasty told his staff.
Public records do not show that the property has changed hands, but it has been on the market for months with an asking price of $3 million. The sale was handled by Massey Knakal Realty’s Stephen Palmese, first vice president, and Winfield Clifford and Michael Mazzara, both associates, who told the Eagle Thursday the closing is imminent but the negotiated price could not be revealed.
The word on the street, however, is that it drew more than its asking price.
As described in Massey Knakal’s marketing materials, 30 Henry is a 1.5-story, 6,300-square-foot mixed-use building containing two apartments and one commercial unit. The ground floor, occupied by the Brooklyn Eagle, and the apartments are on month-to-month leases. The building also contains a full basement with 12-foot ceilings, and a four-car garage with curb cut.
According to the DOB filing, the plan for the new building calls for five residential units in a six-story masonry building-plus-basement and a perimeter wall height of 50 feet.
Additionally, the owners are asking for a building with a total of 21,801 square feet, whereas the zoning allows for only 16,512 square feet — unless there is a community facility use, which could allow the additional square footage, according to Massey Knakal.
The DUMBO-based Fortis Group, with Akiva Kobre and Joel Kestenbaum identified as owner and manager, respectively, were reached through a spokesperson Thursday. In answer to several questions from the Eagle, Kobre would only allow the spokesperson to say that no retail or community facility is planned for the new building.
The architect, Stephen Burns of BKSK Architects, based in Manhattan, did not respond to a request for information by press time.
The building that houses the Eagle was constructed in 1963.
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