341 Eastern Parkway aka “The Hole” – brilliantly named by Nick at ILFA - is a very curious case of “gentrification” and development opposed to community revitalization.
“The Hole” is a vacant, 14,000 foot lot, at the bustling, NE corner of Franklin Ave. and Eastern Parkway – a long time commercial district in the community – that is seeing a recent burst of commercial revitalization in the last few years.
“The Hole” has an interesting history, as it was hoped to be, the grande, visual symbol of “gentrification” in a “changing” Crown Height’s, by some in the real estate and business crowd.
In 2007, Brownstoner reported that, architect Gene Kaufman promised to: “build a new corner, 8-story, steel-framed, residential condominium building – with retail on the ground floor, containing 80,000 square feet and 61 apartments.”
That plan fizzled, along with the economy.
For 3 years, nothing happened, besides Crow Hill’s lovely mural painting project that enlisted local artist and children to beautify the ugly wooden fence surrounding “The Hole”.
Yet, it’s neighbor, Fisher’s Supermarket – the small Mom & Pop like grocery store that’s been at 805 Franklin Ave. for 28 years - managed to under go a total build out in 2011.
It was renamed Bob & Betty’s, in honor of owner Tony Fisher’s parents who opened the original Fisher’s on Washington Ave.
Perhaps it’s truly about revitalizing a community and it’s existing resources?
Rather than the complete overhaul and the displacement that usually accompanies “gentrification”.
Once again, there’s talk that “The Hole” is back on the market.
In Nov. 2011, according to Crain’s NY, Ofer Cohen, president of the Brokerage firm, TerraCRG Commercial Realty Group, was retained to exclusively market the site.
It was boosted that: “This is a viable site for either condo or rental development, noted Mr. Cohen.
Rents would fetch $42 to $45 per square foot, while a condo could get $575 to $600 per square foot depending on when the project launches, according to Brendan Aguayo, a residential broker.”
Sounds swell if you make in the mid six figures, but Crown Heights is an economically diverse community. And apparently, Mr. Cohen’s vision may have been a little off as he is no longer the exclusive broker.
Yesterday, Pinnacle Realty, has two huge billboards listing their broker, David Junik, as the one to call for information about obtaining 341 Eastern Parkway.
Yes, 341 Eastern Parkway is a very curious case indeed.
“The Hole” sits at the busy intersection of the bustling and growing commercial strip of Franklin Ave., yet no investor seems to be able to close the deal on this piece of “prime real estate”.
Perhaps their vision needs to be revised?
What do you think should be built at 341 Eastern Parkway? And why?
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