Wrecking Ball Comes to Teen Challenge Compound in Clinton Hill Where Townhouses Are Planned

A Clinton Avenue mansion bites the dust. Photo by Craig Hubert

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A multi-building project in Clinton Hill has started to take shape, just outside the Clinton Hill Historic District.

Located at 444 Clinton Avenue will be seven three-story townhouses, permits for which have been filed but not yet approved. On the other side of the property, which goes all the way through the block, with an address of 445 Vanderbilt Avenue, plans call for a five-story residential building. According to building permits, there will be 43 units in the building, along with 25 parking spaces (13 of which will be off-site) and 22 spaces for bicycles.

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View from Clinton Avenue. Photo by Craig Hubert

The new construction will replace three buildings, one a standalone three-story brick mansion at 434 Clinton Avenue with extensive grounds, including a park-like lawn next to it. The mansion is of uncertain vintage but most likely dates from the early 20th century. A demolition permit was approved in September, and the building is already gone.

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A construction fence surrounds the Teen Challenge treatment center on Vanderbilt Street. Photo by Craig Hubert

The other two buildings, both two stories high, are still standing on Vanderbilt Avenue, although construction fencing currently surrounds them both. One is a carriage house likely dating from the same time as the brick mansion. Located at at 434AB Vanderbilt Avenue, it is neo-Federal style and part of a National Register historic district but not protected.

At 443 Vanderbilt Avenue is a blue and white building resembling a school that dates from the mid 20th century. Demolition permits for the two buildings were issued in September.

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The project site outlined in red. Base map via GoogleMaps

Marvel Architects is the applicant of record for the entire project. Among their many projects in Brooklyn, they have designed two separate nine-story buildings six blocks away at 909 Atlantic Avenue, which launched an affordable housing lottery in August. Developer Pinny Loktch of The Loktch Group is listed as the owner on building permits.

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Rendering of 445 Vanderbilt Avenue by Marvel Architects via Yimby

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Rendering of townhouses at 434-446 Clinton Avenue (now 444 Clinton Avenue) by Marvel Architects via Yimby

The entire property was formerly owned by Teen Challenge (now called Adult & Teen Challenge), a Christian organization that provides residential treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as an after school program for children.

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The view on Vanderbilt in April 2019. Photo by Susan De Vries

The organization was founded in 1960 by David Wilkerson, author of the book “The Cross and the Switchblade” and pastor at the Times Square Church in Manhattan, the same year they purchased the property in Clinton Hill.

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The carriage house in April. Photo by Susan De Vries

They sold the property to 444 Clinton LLC for $17 million in July 2019.

Teen Challenge still owns a landmarked freestanding Colonial Revival home at 416 Clinton Avenue. Previously, they owned a number of other buildings on the block, including the former Charles A. Schieren mansion at 405 Clinton Avenue, which they sold in 1969 and was later owned by the writers Sean Wilsey and Daphne Beale and currently owned by the actors Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis.

The entire property before demolition, including a grassy yard, viewed from Clinton Avenue in April 2019. Photo by Susan De Vries

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