Longtime Owners Evicted, Demo Is Next for Dean Street Homes Seized for Atlantic Yards

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Some of the last buildings that the government seized from their longtime owners in order to make way for the Atlantic Yards project are likely to be demolished soon. Demolition permits were filed on Thursday for 491, 493 and 495 Dean Street. The three 19th century row houses sit close to the corner of 6th Avenue, right across from Barclays Center in Prospect Heights.

The buildings, pictured below (491 is on the left), were part of a long dispute with developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City and the then Empire State Development Corporation. Eventually, the owners and their families, some of whom had lived here for generations, were ordered by the state to vacate the properties in September of 2014 and reportedly had 90 days to do so. The sums they were offered by the state for the properties were not made public.

493 Dean Street

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

When we last reported on these properties in February, there were at least two families still living there. They were each asking for about $3,000,000, about the cost of a townhouse in the neighborhood, according to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report. To put that in perspective, Daniel Goldstein, one of the lead activists fighting the project, received $3,000,000 for his three-bedroom condo when he moved out.

But the state was arguing that $1,500,000, the price of a townhouse in central or eastern Bed Stuy or Crown Heights, would be sufficient.

Back in February, The New York Times spoke with two of the holdouts, including Jerry Campbell who, along with family members owned both 493 and 495 Dean Street. His grandfather bought the homes in the 1940s and 1960s after he immigrated from Barbados.

He first countered Forest City’s offer to buy him out in 2005 with a the idea of a property swap — 12,000 square feet of space in the new building for his two houses. The developer rejected the offer.

A decade later, in February, of this year, after taking his property, the state reportedly offered him less than Ratner had originally offered.

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Map showing the future location of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park development B15 on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Dean Street. Map via Atlantic Yards Report

The buildings are coming down to make way for a building known now only as B15. It will be 100 percent market rate, with 336 units — rentals, presumably.

Construction is scheduled to start one year from now. The building will open in February of 2018.

No new-building permits have been filed as of yet, and no renderings have been released.

State to Evict Holdouts in Seven Properties in Atlantic Yards Footprint [Brownstoner]
Nearly All in Atlantic Yards Footprint Have Left; State Moves Toward Residential Eviction [AYR]
In Arena’s Shadow, Holdouts at Atlantic Yards Site Must Now Leave [NYT]

Top image from “Up” by Pixar via Projected Realities

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The corner of Sixth Avenue and Dean Street, now being used as a parking lot by developer Forest City Greenland, will eventually be the site of the market rate building known now as only B15

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