200 Smith Street Torn Down

We passed by 200 Smith Street, at Baltic, just yesterday, and noticed that demolition of the three-story building was underway. Today a tipster sent in this photo with the demolition almost totally complete. There are no building permits for demolition (they appear to be going the Alt 1 route) but it looks like it’ll remain a three floor, two-unit building. Other than the original building looking kinda crappy and rundown, is anyone away of any more pressing reason (like structural problems or a fire) that would have necessitated a tear-down? GMAP P*Shark DOB
Photo by Eugene Gannon

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  • How about, it makes no financial sense to try to make something out of a crappy, wood-framed building. Why does it need to be a ‘necessity’?

  • I hope something more like what was done up and next corner (Warren) takes place here.
    Rather than the very blah building a couple door up (currently Chase bank on retail level).

  • It doesn’t have to be a necessity–we were just wondering if it was.

  • That’s the place where Jessie’s Brooklyn Kitchen opened (and quickly failed) a few years ago? Crappy little building. I’ll echo what Pete said upthread.

  • I don’t understand places like Jessie’s… it too them so long to open. Then, it seemed like they closed in a couple months. I don’t think that space was ever rented after them, either.

  • brownstoner, I don’t think any major issue going on. No fire. No condemnation.
    (extended)Family that owns building for many years and used to run a restaurant there lived upstairs.
    I was wondering why nothing happened after Jesse’s failed. My guess is they then decided to rebuild the whole bldg and it has taken this long to get everything in place.
    Was a ‘cuban/chinese’ restaurant for many years. Wish that was still operating.

  • broadwayron –

    Yeah, Jessie’s was a weird deal all around. We walk by several times a week on our way to dinner or just on an evening stroll. Then it finally opened and it was this weirdish order all your meals for the week dealio (except it was very poorly marketed). You’re right, been dead ever since.

    So basically we’re looking at a building that has had no more than 3-6 months ground floor rent in the last 4-5 years. Brilliant.

  • The building is probably cursed. Like that place in Park Slope that has a new restaurant every 6 months or so.

  • >restaurant every 6 months or so.

    New place, Comida opened last week, supposedly today at 5-7 is GRAND OPENING, with free appetizers & drinks. I’ll be there, nothing like free booze.

  • cmu – which is that? The one on 5th @ Pres. or 7th @ 3rd?

  • CMU – Please report back.

    I would love for something non-sucky to open in that space. But isn’t the new place run by the same people who ran the last few failed attempts?

    (I read that on the Internet someplace, so it must be true.)

  • That was once a wild Chinese restaurant, you would always get something else besides what you ordered. Then it became an OK and cheap Italian restaurant,can anyone remeber the name ? It was one of the second wave of places to open after Patois.

  • Thanks oldtimer, I had forgotten about Pepe Viola. Used to be part of our dining rotation when I first moved here.

  • Let’s hope someone with taste can build something decent. Proper scale is most important. Excellent design, though rare, is possible. Keep your fingers crossed! Architecture is always good when it’s a nice surprise. Is a building restricted in scale here? Smith Street could use an architectural shot in the arm, so to speak. A nice big retail space would be good, lots of windows and light. They could build a mini Manufacturers Hanover Trust (43rd & 5th in Manh) since they seem to be disrespecting that one in their makeover to “Big Box” retail.

  • When Jessie’s closed, there was a notice in the window saying that the landlord had raised the rent exorbitantly and they couldn’t afford to stay, but that they wanted to. I used to get take-out from there & it was always good, so I was disappointed when they left. The “order all your meals for the week dealio” was just an option – they had brunch and other regular service. Schadenfreude that the landlord never could find a tenant after kicking them out.

  • Often restaurant close after ten years as their lease is up and the landlord jacks up the rent. That take out place wasn’t there long enough to get a rent increase unless they did not have a lease.
    Does anyone remember the Chinese restaurant ?

  • I liked that place when it was Viola. It was pretty reasonable for a meal there. I suspect they may have gotten priced out of the neighborhood.

  • Jessie’s was a failure from the start. I’ve tried going there several times during the month that they were supposedly “open for business” but never been successful. Apparently they were only open from about 12 p.m. till about 4 p.m. and I come back at around 5. Now correct me If I’m wrong, but if a store is only open for about four hours a day, how do you make enough money to pay for the rent in the first place especially if the store is poorly advertised? Pepe Viola was a better place and I knew the manager. He told me that they were only closing down because business was declining and the competition around the block was too much.